My knitting projects and a new challenge for April

Hi there how are you today? It’s Monday and a new work week has begun.  This is the last week before Winter Vacation for my kids so they are all feeling kind of tired and more than ready to be on vacation. I’m lucky enough to get a few days off also but not just yet. But I too really look forward to that.

I will be going to California beginning of March and will stay there for 3 weeks which is exciting. I will be working so it’s not going to be all fun and knitting but it will be plenty fun still.

I’m trying hard to be strong and not go crazy ordering a billion things online that I cannot find here in France. I don’t actually need anything so whatever I buy (because I know I will) will just be for some personal indulgence. And I need to try and keep the urge or the yarn buying monster under control.

But before I go, I do have some big projects that need finishing. First off is my Temperance shawl that I’m test knitting for KJB designs. I did show you my progress last week. I have been knitting on this every day since and I’m about 17 rows from cast off. That does not sound like a lot but it is because I’m well over 400 stitches per row now so each row takes quite some time to finish. I am planning on casting off at the end of this week though.

temperance shawl 19feb

This shawl is HUGE! I’m already well into my second skein of fingering weight yarn. I have begun on the lace edging as you can see. The shawl is way bigger than my needle so it is all scrunched up but you get the size.

temperance shawl lace

Here you can see the lace edge a little better. It is fun to knit and looks really nice I think. I’m knitting this with my own hand dyed yarn in a merino/mohair/nylon blend which is ultra soft and the yarn has a little halo so it really looks as soft as it feels.

My second big test knit that I’m hoping I will finish by the end of this week, maybe Sunday or so, is my Akane sweater by ERI a Japanese designer.

I have finished the body. This is a cropped sweater and I did lengthen the body and for a time was afraid I might have lengthened it too much but after trying it on I see that I definitely did not lengthen too much.

So the body is finished and I finished the collar and sewed the shoulders and I have also cast on for the sleeves. I decided to knit the sleeves concurrently as sleeve knitting can get boring and also because I really want to finish by the end of the week if I possibly can. So I’m knitting one pattern repeat on sleeve A and then one repeat on sleeve B and then back again to A etc. So far I have done 2 repeats on both sleeves.

akane 19feb

When I took this picture I had only done one repeat though so my sleeves are a little longer now.

I really like how this is knitting up and I think it will be very cute over a black long tshirt or maybe even over a white tunic/blouse.

I’m also working a little on two other projects that are not test knits and so do not have an impending deadline. There is the Flea cardigan. I have finished the body at the moment. I will have to come back later and do the button bands and steek but first I need to knit the sleeves. Here I’m only knitting one sleeve at a time because I need two yarns and so knitting both concurrently felt like a bother.

flea cardigan 19feb

And I did pick up my Midnight Sherbet brioche wrap and knit a little last night. I’m getting sort of bored with my two big test knits as I cannot allow myself to knit on anything else really or I will miss the deadline so even just knitting a few rows on this one felt good.

The pink is the front and the blue is the back. If you look closely you will see that I have done the second cable; you can see it better on the pink side. I won’t be able to take this with me when I leave for the US so this wrap is going to be a while in the making. But that’s ok.

And that’s all I have worked on since last time. I have not knit a single stitch on a sock! And it feels strange! When I finish at least one of my two test knits I will take a little break and go back to my socks.

I also need to start thinking of what projects to take with my on my trip. I will have lots of knitting time on the flights but not so much I think during my actual stay. I will be test knitting a cardigan so that will be my big project. I will bring my Winter Rose socks with me – the first pattern from Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade Sock Society. Those were published now in February and I have only done a little bit of knitting on those so I want to take them and finish. I will also knit the next sock pattern from Mina’s Knitting Expat sock club; the one that will be published on March 1st. So that makes 2 socks + I think I will need yarn for at least one vanilla sock. And I want to knit a shawl. I have dyed up some yarn and have even wound it up already. I’m going to cast on for the Across the Pond shawl by Mina Philip of Knitting Expat Designs. So that means that for 3 weeks I will have : 1 cardigan, 1 shawl and 3 socks to knit on. Probably way too much but I can’t risk not having enough!

And on another very exciting subject. A reader of this blog suggested a sort of joint effort/challenge to work on my mountain of wips. A challenge to organize and get on top of our crafting supplies and I immediately knew this had to be done!

So the idea is that in April I- and hopefully others will join in- will work on my organizing my craft supplies and claiming back some of my bedroom space and making things look pretty again.

You may only have yarn and knitting/crochet supplies to work on but  I have a ton of lots of different supplies on top of yarn and fibre. I also have beads, jewelry supplies and tools, polymer clay and everything that goes with that not to mention stash from my almost defunct shop etc.

I need to take a good look at my supplies and think how best to store them in an organized manner. What I want to keep and what I want to donate and what I want to swap!

Yes because when we have worked so hard at getting our craft space all spruced up and organized we should be able to welcome a few new supplies into our home don’t you think?

So I’m thinking I will work on this project behind the scenes somewhat and prepare posts to share with you here on the blog during March as I and maybe you, prepare for the challenge. And then we will have the entire month of April to actually work on this challenge and get things done. And when we are done, most of us will be likely to have a pile of “would like to swap” yarn/needles etc and so I was thinking we could each publish those in my Ravelry group and then do an unofficial swap. If you see something I own and want to swap, I will take a look at your stuff and then we can swap a skein for a skein sort of thing. What do you think?

This is an idea in its infancy and still needs working on but I would love to hear what you think? Would you like to join? Would it not be wonderful to have a clean, newly organised stash and craft space before the summer? It does make me dream:)

I will be creating a thread soon in my Ravelry group where we can discuss this further and I will be launching subjects and then we can all chime in and share ideas and links to good storage solutions etc. I for one am super excited about this challenge because for me this will be a challenge as I’m not the most organized person.

So that’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your precious time with me. Do leave me a comment if you would like to join in the April challenge and help me find a catchy name and hashtag so we can share all over and see what each one is doing when the time comes.

Till next time, take care and happy knitting:)

Endless new projects and rabbit holes to fall down

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing good. I was supposed to post yesterday but I just felt out of energy and needed some quality knitting time and so here I am today!

As you may deduct from the title of today’s post, I’m not being very successful at working on my Mountain of Wips! Shame on me!!

If you have been following my blog for a while you are probably not surprised at all and I shouldn’t be myself only I really did mean to work on my wips and it was and still is a goal for 2018. Only I keep getting sidetracked! Constantly finding new patterns I need to make or apply for a test knit for which I’m subsequently accepted! So the current state of affairs is Zero wips progress but lots of fun knitting nevertheless.

So let’s get this going and I’m going to share with you my current works in progress.

I had started on the Winter Rose socks by Helen Stewart but they are the first pattern in her new sock club. I started off with a Lolo did it yarn but changed my mind and found a solid Opal yarn that I thought might do the pattern better justice. I’m not far along as I have managed to put myself into a deadline situation so I’m going to put these aside and will knit on them in March.

So first off is my colorwork cardigan the Flea Cardigan or Damejakke loppa by Pinneguri. I’m going to write a post on this one because it is my first ever all over colorwork garment and first ever steek. I’m not quite at the steek just yet but I am almost done with the body. I’m at the beginning of the bottom rib and then I need to see if I steek or if I knit the sleeves first. I’m not quite sure.

I absolutely LOVE knitting this garment and the colorwork has been such fun. I’m using Holst Garn in a wool and silk blend and it knits up so nicely and once it will be washed and blocked I think it will be gorgeous even if I say so myself!

I’m even dreaming of knitting more of this pattern, maybe another one for myself plus one for my sister and one for my mum… The yarn and the gazillion colors available from Holst are definitely enabling.

damejakke 14feb

The bottom ribbing and the button bands on the front as well as sleeve cuffs will be in this orangey/brick/red color you see at the collar/neck band.

And then there are the test knits! I am a big sucker for test knitting. Not quite sure why. Maybe because I always want to knit everything and I’m constantly looking at new patterns to buy and test knitting gives you instant access to a not-yet-published pattern in exchange for your work.

So now I’m working on two test knits, one has to be done at the end of the month and the second needs to be done beginning of March. However as I’m going away beginning of March (more on that later) I actually need to finish both by the end of February.

First up is a sweater that I’m test knitting for Japanese designer Eri. This is a very fun pattern for a somewhat boxy and cropped sweater. I did lengthen it some for my taste though. The stitch pattern is easy to follow and soon becomes memorized. I’m using fingering weight yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings in colorway Rasberry Ripples and I think it is really looking very nice. I’m not even alternating skeins, I felt the yarn was that similar that it would be ok and so far so good.

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Here you see the pattern a little closer –  and the picture above is truer to color than the one below.

 

Akane 14feb

I’m almost at the shoulders on the front. The back is done so I’m super close to finishing the body and hope to get going on the sleeves tomorrow at the latest. I really love the design and I have seen a picture from the designer wearing a lace yarn version and it looked amazing so I’m already thinking I will need to knit another one in a different yarn! Crazy, crazy me right!

The second test knit was a sort of last minute one. This designer I like and have test knit for before sent out a call for shawl testing. I wasn’t going to say yes but her shawl did look nice but then I saw that she had a tight deadline and so all her usual testers were saying they were not available so I of course contacted her and said that if she could extend the deadline by a few days I’d love to test knit for her. And she said YES!

So here I am, test knitting the Temperance shawl by KBJ Designs. This is a fingering weight shawl and I’m using my own hand dyed yarn in one of my favorite blends; the merino/mohair/nylon blend and I love the outcome.

temperance shawl 14feb

I have actually been able to knit consistently on this shawl and so I’m almost at the end of this stocking/eyelet section and ready to start the lace border. I’m hoping this will be done in a week or so.

So hopefully I will finish both test knits by the end of this month…ready to cast on for next month’s test knit! Yes that’s not a typo! I applied to and was accepted to knit a cardigan for a future edition of the Making Stories magazine. I have just ordered the yarn today (we must test knit with the same yarn as the designer used) and I plan on casting on March 1st. This is a tight deadline, only 1 month to finish so I’m going to try and be serious for once and limit new cast ons in March.

As for the rabbit hole I mentioned, well that is sock related. So as you may know, I do love sock knitting although there are no socks on show today. Two years ago I participated in my first ever Sock Madness- a sock speed knitting competition. The first year I actually was put on the second fastest team (learned my lesson) and I made it to the final round though I did not win – there were some seriously fast knitters there! The second time around; that is last year, I made sure I took a little bit longer to finish my pair in order to be placed in a somewhat slower team and that worked. Only I was eliminated after 4 or 5 rounds I think after  misunderstanding a colorwork chart. I actually knit sock one twice. Knit it up showed a picture and it was wrong so I ripped back and started again. I finished my pair and sent it in all in time to be qualified for the next round only the following day I was contacted and told I had misunderstood the chart and so was disqualified! Talk about deception! Needless to say I felt like crying and NEVER taking part again!

Yet when I saw sign ups were opening for this year I of course went ahead and signed up for as they say third time’s a charm or something like that!

I think the qualifying round is in March and then the serious stuff will start end of March or so. During my time in the Sock Madness competition I will be solely concentrating on the competition and all other knitting will be set aside for in between rounds knitting. Are any of you taking part this year? Have you taken part before?

I just printed out the list of materials today so I can get everything ready and this year the theme is clearly colorwork as most of the patterns include 2 yarns/colors unless they all use contrasting yarns for heels and toes. But usually the patterns are innovative and demanding so I’m expecting complicated colorwork.

Well, I think this is all for now. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your time with me. I hope to be more punctual next week. I hope you have a great rest of the week and enjoy lots of knitting, crocheting, spinning or just general crafting happiness.

 

 

It’s looking a lot like Christmas…

Yes you read that right! As I’m sitting here at my desk and writing, I’m watching the snowfall outside. This is the first snow we have had here in Normandy this winter and it’s coming down quite heavily. We are not used to snow and even a little bit can cause serious disruption in transportation so even if it looks nice to look at, it is not really welcome. I for one do not enjoy driving in the snow. I’m way out of practice as it’s been so many years since I moved from Iceland to France.

snow blainville

So hopefully by tomorrow morning this will just be a nice memory and all the snow will have gone!

It does however create a nice knitting atmosphere, I cannot deny that:)

So this past weekend I did a lot of knitting but on a lot of different projects so nothing really made changed dramatically.

I cast on for the first pair of socks out of Mina Philip second sock club (yes I bought both! so now I get a pattern a month from her until the end of this year). The pattern is called Warm and Snug socks. This pattern is made for self striping yarns and lucky for me, I had this set of Snow White self striping yarn with sparkles from Turtle Purl that I have been wanting to knit for a while. So that just was perfect. I found some leftover yarn from my stash for cuffs,heels and toes to maintain the striping.

This pattern is rather simple, like a variation on a vanilla sock as the patterning is on the front leg only. And this is a stitch pattern I have never used before and so very fun to try out.

I have just finished sock one and I immediately cast on for sock two in an effort to avoid second sock syndrome. And so I have finished the cuff of sock two and will get going on the leg tomorrow.

It is not easy to show the texture but if you look closely you will see that certain rounds are “shorter” meaning instead of seeing 4 rounds of one color it’s as if there is just one. That is the result of this new textured stitch she has included in this pattern.

Here are a better pictures taken with a side view to show you the difference on the front and the back of the leg.

You see how certain stripes on the front are raised and only a thin line? Clever hah?

Being the sock knitting maniac that I am, I not only signed up for both of Mina’s (The Knitting Expat) sock clubs but I also signed up for Helen Stewart’s (Curious Handmade). So every other month I will have one new sock pattern and the other month I will have two! Like in February. The patterns do not come out on the same day luckily so Helen’s pattern was just published on the 5th of Feb and I immediately cast on! Thinking maybe I should knit one sock of each pattern and then go back for the second sock. Not sure. maybe I should just finish one pair and only then get going on the second!

Anyway the first pattern in Helen’s club is called Winter Rose Sock and I’m knitting it with a yarn from Lolo Did It called Hippo for Thanksgiving. It’s a light grey color with some wintery speckles in red, orange, green and yellow. I’m only a few rounds into the cuff so too early to show off here.

This weekend I also knit a little bit on my brioche wrap from Madeleine Windsor of Kingfisher Knits. This is a recent pattern of hers called Midnight Sherbet and is knit in DK yarn. I’m knitting mine with my organic merino DK yarn and it feels and works up beautifully. I’m about 20% done so far so not much but I’m enjoying it.

If you look closely on the pink side picture, you can see a cable on the right side. That was a little challenging but now I fully understand so I’m ready to tackle all the future cables. I think this will be such a great piece. Warm and cozy.

I also worked on my cardigan and sweater. The cardigan is my first ever colorwork garment and my first steek project. I’m also knitting it with HOLST garn and it is the first time I’m using that yarn. I’m maybe 40% done, I think I’m getting close to where the ribbing begins on the bottom of the body. Still a few centimeters/inches from that but should be done soon. I’m really enjoying this project a lot and this yarn is nice to work with and I’m super excited to see how it will looked once the garment has been washed as I’ve heard this yarn “blooms”.

IMG_0907

This pattern is called Damejakka Loppa or Flea Cardigan on Ravelry and is by Pinneguri.

I have also started a new test knit. It’s a cropped sweater by Japanese designer Eri called Akane.  I’m using yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings and the pattern is fun to knit. I’m knitting a bit longer than the pattern calls for.

IMG_0886

That’s about all the knitting I’m working on actively these days.

hat madeleine

I did launch my first ever yarn sale here on the blog this past weekend. I have created a new page here called Boutique where I intend to sell yarn on a regular basis. Currently you will find the Hindiber hat kit that i launched in collaboration with Madeleine Windsor of Kingfisher Knits. Each kit includes a download link for her pattern which comes in 3 sizes and a skein of my DK merino yarn. You have a number of colorways to choose from, some are superwash and others are my organic non superwash DK base.

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The price of the kit is 25€ + shipping (7€).

hat madeleine

I hope you will go take a look at the kit. I’d also love to hear what you think of the set up for the yarn sale. It is not like a regular e-shop but more like a blog post. When clicking the buy button you are taken to Paypal where you can pay with your Paypal account or a credit card so even if it looks different it is a serious set up.

That’s it for today. Have a wonderful week ahead with hopefully lots of knitting and yarn cuddling:)

More on the Hindiber hat kit

Hi there, today I would like to share with you more on the kit that will be for sale tomorrow. Here is a clip of the Kingfisher Knits podcast where you will see the designer herself, Madeleine Windsor, show her version of the hat and share more on the pattern. Just click on the link and enjoy  Kingfisher knit podcast

The Hindiber hat kit

Version Française a la fin****

Hi there, i’m so excited to tell you about this new kit that is about to be revealed.

If you have followed me on the blog and on social media for some time, you will know that I have closed my Etsy shop. I felt that I was just drowning in the million other indie dyers on there and the cost of keeping the shop was too draining on my slim finances. This brought me to the decision to close the Etsy shop and start on my own again, as I had done when everything started for me in 2011.

This is now about to become reality. This coming Saturday February 3rd, a new page will be added to this website, called Boutique. There  you will find my hand dyed yarns and kits. This will be a very small scale operation to begin with. I want to see how I manage to sell via this new medium and ease out any kinks before having a big selection of yarns.

For this first day of the new shop, I will offer a unique kit designed especially for Knitting in France. This is a hat kit that includes a skein of my DK merino yarn in either superwash or non superwash yarn and a download code for you to get the hat pattern via Ravelry.

The pattern is called Hindiber which stands for Raspberry in Icelandic. Madeleine Windsor, Kingfisher Knits, designed this hat especially for me using my superwash DK merino yarn. I have given Madeleine yarn support before and she so generously offered to design something unique for me to sell here in my new shop. The pattern will be exclusive to Knitting in France for certain amount of time and only available for those that purchase my kit.

The hat comes in 3 sizes, small, medium and large. One skein of my DK yarn is enough even for the biggest size. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I can recommend this pattern for advanced knitters and beginners alike. Nothing complicated and yet interesting enough to hold the interest of experienced knitters.

Most of the yarns I have set up for the kits are in my superwash base as that is the yarn Madeleine used to design the hat. I do however have some in my non superwash organic merino base that works just as well. I have only dyed up one colorway in that yarn but if interested is shown, I will have more colors to offer.

I do hope you will come by my site this Saturday to take a look and purchase a kit. Each kit sold means the world to me as the benefit will go towards relaunching my little business. I had planned on doing a crowdfunding campaign but changed my mind and selling exclusive kits and small lot yarns will be my way of raising funds to be able to continue and grow. Your support means everything!

Here is a sneak peak at the yarns for the Hindiber kit

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Bonjour, je suis toute excitée a l’idée de vous présenter ma nouvelle boutique. Si vous m’avez suivi ici et sur les media sociaux, vous savez que j’ai choisi de fermer ma boutique sur Etsy. Je reviens au sources et me relance en solo ici sur mon site.

J’avais pensé faire une campagne de financement participatif mais j’y ai renoncé. La vente de mes laines en direct ici sur mon site sera finalement ma façon a moi de récolter les fonds nécessaires pour relancer ma petite affaire de laine teinté main.

Je commence petit en vous proposant un seul kit. Mais quel kit!

Il s’agit d’un kit bonnet crée spécialement pour Knitting in France et vendu exclusivement ici avec ma laine. Le modèle Hindiber sera exclusif a ses kits pendant quelque temps.

Le bonnet s’appelle Hindiber ce qui veut dire framboise en Islandais. Le modèle vient en 3 tailles différentes et 1 seul écheveau de ma laine DK est suffisant pour sa réalisation.

C’est un modèle simple mais en même temps intéressant et rapide a faire. Accessibles au débutantes tout en restant amusant a faire pour les tricoteuses chevronnées.

Le designer, Madeleine Windsor ou Kingfisher Knits est Anglaise mais elle vit actuellement en Suisse. Elle a déjà créé des modèles en utilisant mes laines et vous pouvez les voir sur sa boutique Ravelry

Le modèle ayant été créé avec ma laine superwash mérinos DK, la plupart des laines proposés pour le kit sont donc superwash mérinos DK. Mais j’ai une option appelé Normandy, qui est sur ma laine non superwash mérinos bio. C’est une laine qui convient tout aussi bien pour ce modèle. Si la laine non superwash vous intéresse plus, j’en ai d’autres que je pourrais rajouter pour ces kits.

Les kits seront en  vente ici samedi prochain le 3 février après midi. J’espère que vous passerez faire un tour et pourquoi pas que vous achetiez un kit. Chaque vente est très importante pour moi car les bénéfices serviront a m’aider a financer le re-lancement de ma petite affaire. Votre soutien m’est indispensable et apprécié du fond du coeur.

Hi there how are you today? It’s Monday as I write this and I admit I’m still a bit tired. Weekends go by sooooo fast! I never have enough time to do everything I want to do. I really need one extra day to just relax and knit and not think of or do anything else.

I did get some knitting done though of course. I actually got a severe case of startitis! Must be my “attack all the old wips” challenge that is coming soon that spurred this. I seem to be all about colorwork and so I kept working on my Flea cardigan that I need to write an entire blog post on later.

flea cardigan 29jan

But then I cast on for two more things.

First was a brioche wrap. The pattern is called Midnight Sherbet by Madeleine Windsor. As soon as I saw her posts on Instagram I knew there was no way around this. I HAD to knit one. And so I set about dyeing yarn for this and chose my non superwash organic merino DK and this weekend I balled up my yarns and cast on!

midnight sherbert frontmidnight sherbert back

The top picture shows the “front” and the second the “back”. I use ” ” because I think there is no real front/back on brioche wraps. Both sides are beautiful. It’s just a question of which color you like best or which side goes best with your outfit that day.

As you see I’m not far along but I hope to work a little bit on this every day.

My second cast on was for the Ninilchik swancho by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland knitworks. I bought the pattern ages ago and have been wanting to cast on for a while. I went ahead and purchased some Drops yarn for this project and yesterday, Sunday, I cast on.

I am having second thoughts about my color choices as well as my color assignments (I mean which is color 1 etc). I thought I had chosen colors that were contrasting enough to work but once knit up, they fade into each other too much.

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The first picture shows this especially well as one can hardly make out the pattern. I do like my colors but I’m not sure they work. I’m wondering if I should switch one of them out for a white for example? I’m keeping the grey as the main color so maybe the contrasting three could be : white, plum and blue? And just leave out the brown all together. What do you think? It sucks to rip back all the way to the collar but this is a big garment and I can’t keep knitting on this if I’m not 100% sure I actually like it. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with me that the colors are too similar to work nicely here? Have you knit this pattern yourself?

Strangely enough I did NOT knit on any socks this weekend! Shocker! But I am planning on choosing my first languishing wip to work on today. So it will be all ready to go come February 1st. I’m thinking as a motivation, I should choose a pair of socks where sock 2 is already started. I’ll keep you posted on that next week.

I will be back later this week with an exciting announcement for you so I hope you will stop by again.

Thank you for taking the time today to stop by and check on my knitting. I hope you have a great week ahead of you. Take care and see you soon:)

Happy Friday

Hi there, once again I’m late… I have been quite busy at work lately and so everything else has been somewhat on the back burner unfortunately.

But today is Friday, I have finished work and am looking forward to the weekend. I have plans of knitting and lots of prepping! Yes prepping because I’m going to vend at a yarn festival here in Normandy. It is the first show I vend at since 2014 so it’s been a while. It’s also the first wool/yarn festival to be held here in Normandy so very exciting. I have lots of organising to do, lots of yarn buying and dyeing, planning etc. And I hope to get some of that done this weekend; not to mention as much knitting as I can possibly cram in.

exhibiting bleu fil de la manche

I will be telling you more about this yarn festival in later posts here on the blog.

Since my last post I have managed to finish 2 1/2 pairs of socks. So I thought I should show those to you today. First up is a pair called Sterntaler socks by Becky Sorensen of Sopranoknits. These were a quick knit. Fairly simple socks with a little bit of texture. It says to fade out the textured pattern on the back before knitting the heel. I tried that but didn’t like it so I just stopped when it was time for the heel and did not do any sort of transition and I think it looks just fine.

I knit these using my SOX yarn and I think they look quite nice. I’m setting these aside to use as samples of my SOX yarn knit up on my stand at the wool festival I told you about.

The second pair I finished just a few minutes ago. These are the Resfeber socks by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This is the first pair of her Wanderlust sock club. Being the crazy sock knitter I am, I signed up for both of her sock clubs this year so I will be getting a pattern a month and the plan is to knit them all as they arrive!

This was a simple textured knit and purl pattern with a garter stitch heel which was fun to knit. I used my new favorite sock yarn which is a merino/mohair/nylon blend. It is perfect for socks and garments alike and I think it is especially perfect for colorwork projects. The yarn is ultra soft and a joy to work with and because of the mohair there is a slight halo.

I joined a sock test knit at the last moment this week. I joined on Monday, got the pattern on Tuesday and had to finish one sock by Thursday. And I made it! Well, I was only knitting the smallest size so not really a big feat but hey!

So this was a test knit for Dana Gervais. It’s been a while since I test knit for her and so I was very happy to be able to join, even if last minute.

This was a fun knit and even if the pattern looks somewhat complex it really is super simple and easily memorizable.  I knit this sock in my SPARKLES yarn in the Something about CC colorway which is a very very bright pink! Now I just have to finish the second sock so it does not become a lingering wip as so many before!

And on the subject of lingering wips, it is almost time to start my challenge! I just need to finish the second sock I just showed you and I will be ready to start fresh beginning of February. The idea now is to always have 1 new sock and one old wip sock on the go at all times. I know I will always have at least two pairs of socks at any given time so I figure if I do one from my pile of wips every time I start a new one; I might actually get something done.

I think I will be starting with the socks from my wips. I’m currently somewhat actively working on 2 cardigans so the ones in the pile will have to wait a bit longer. I’m also getting ready to cast on for a new wrap so the old shawls will have to wait too.

I’m sort of hopeless! I’m sure you are rolling your eyes at me as you read this. Thinking I’m never going to do as I say. And you may be right! But I’m going to try. I really do need to make my pile of wips disappear and I prefer to do so by knitting everything up rather than frogging everything.

Some of you have shared with me that you too have lingering projects that need love and I’m happy to have you join me. I have opened a thread in my Ravelry group so we can share and give each other the moral knitterly support needed to keep focused:)

My knitting plans for next week are to finish the second sock I talked about and to choose the first wip sock to work on. I have one cast on planned ( and many more I’m dreaming of). It is a brioche wrap in two colors called the Midnight Sherbert by Madeleine Windsor. I have dyed up some organic, non superwash DK merino yarn especially for that.

And I’m going to continue working on my colorwork cardigan that I have yet to show you…. I think I have to write a whole post about that one. I have so much to say but just to tease you, here’s a glimps

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That’s all for today folks. Thank you again for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have enjoyed your time in my company. I hope to be back beginning of next week as usual. February is around the corner and lots of fun knitting is planned. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a good work week ahead.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting:)

My knitting plans for 2018

Hi there, like I said last time I have so much to share I need to schedule my time well and share as much as I can without invading your life too much. I hope you enjoy spending time with me on the blog but I should not abuse your time and kindness:)

So I’m not going to post everyday but maybe rather try to post twice a week until I’m back on track.

Anyhow today I’m here to share my objectives for 2018 where knitting is concerned. I’m not one for New Years Resolutions. I rarely set myself objectives at the end of the year for my personal everyday life. Even if I have a million plans and things I would like to get done. I think I may be afraid that if I set them as objectives I may not actually get them done… Silly but that’s how it is.

Knitting however is different. At least it is this year. I have become increasingly passionate about knitting over the last few years and I constantly want to learn new things and improve my skills. I also have a list of “to knit” that will probably last me 10 lifetimes. Not to mention my…mountain of shame aka pile of lingering wips!

I’m not ashamed of my knitting and I don’t regret what I have knit. Don’t get me wrong. What I mean is that I have way too many half done projects. I think the oldest might actually be 3 years old!

I’m not sharing any pictures today because my pile of wips is not nicely organized nor stored in an elegant fashion. No, my pile of wips is just that. A big pile of project bags in a corner close to my bed.

I see it every day! And still it does not get smaller!

My husband has had enough and he regularly moans about my pile of stuff that makes our bedroom look overflowing and messy.

So it is time to do something about this.

I have gone through each and every project bag in my pile. I have ripped back a few projects and stored the needles and project bags for future use. So now what is left is all (or 99%) projects I actually want to finish. Some are half done, like socks where sock one is all done and sock two is maybe past the heel already. Some sock one is done but sock two has yet to be cast on. There is a sweater that I have cast on and knit maybe 10 rows. Another one that I had ripped back to the underarms and plan on re knitting. Shawls that I need some quiet time to get back too because they are too complicated to be worked on the go or when my mind is busy.

I have counted the number of projects in the pile and please note that those do NOT include my “on the go/current” knits.

I have: 

8 wraps/scarf/shawl/cowl – so this is a mixed bunch. The single scarf is I think the oldest of all the wips and I think I might end up ripping it back. It is an aran weight colorwork scarf knit in the round and I’m not far in but I haven’t touched it for years so I think maybe I never will. There are two shawls that are complicated and I think starting again will be a challenge to find where I am in the pattern and remembering how to work them. But both are shawls I want to finish.

1 fingerless glove  – If this is younger than the colorwork scarf it is very close in age. I started this a very long time ago and I do not have much to go to finish. This is a pair of colorwork fingerless mittens and they are knit on size 2mm needles. Beautiful but time consuming.

5 sweaters/cardigans – so these are in various stages of completion. Most are barely started though so lots of work here.

18 socks – hm hm. I clearly suffer from second sock syndrome at times. A lot of those socks are test knit socks where the designer only requires one sock to be knit up. I’m constantly signing up for test knitting and so sometimes find myself at a lack of time to complete the previous pair. Also I have in there an amazing pair of socks that I started knitting during a speed sock knitting competition. This was the pair that got me eliminated. It was so complex I could not knit any faster. The pattern is amazing so I really want to finish the second sock which I think is just at the cuff. I did have an issue with the yarn though. I see I was worried about not having enough yarn and so I knit the toe in a contrasting color and I’m not very satisfied with how that looks. If I have any yarn left when I’m done with sock two I think I will undo the toe and re knit in the main yarn.

1 cat sweater – yes because my mom just got a Spynx cat and I’m head over heels in love with him. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen a Christmas picture of him.

3 blankets – I have the pinwheel blanket, one design project that is a colorwork pattern and one that I’m making up as I go using my hand spun yarn. That blanket is very old and hasn’t seen any love for ages. It does look nice though and it is super warm. I do wonder though if I should just stop here and make this a lapghan and start a totally new pattern  with all the handspun I have set aside for this project.

WOW! Talk about a pile of wips! How on earth am I going to get through knitting all of this when I suffer from a severe case of startitis and am constantly buying new patterns and wanting to cast on new things?

Well, here’s my plan. And if you too have a similar issue, you might like to join me and we could support each other.

I’m thinking that I should knit concurrently one new project and one from the pile of wips. I haven’t started yet. I’m thinking I will finish the projects I’m working on right now and when those are done and I’m ready to cast on for something new, I will choose a project from my pile to knit concurrently with the new project. So my plan will most likely go into action end of January. What do you think?

Have you or do you currently have a similar issue with wips? If you have overcome this or if you are currently working on your lingering wips, I’d love to hear your approach to this.  If there is interest, I could open a thread in the Knitting in France group on Ravelry where we could share pictures and discuss progress. Let me know what you think.

I will of course also share with you here on the blog and show you pictures of my future FOs. How exciting!

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:)

Christmas Socks and a Murder Mystery

Hi how are you today? I hope you are doing good. Maybe you are busy getting ready for Christmas. Maybe you are feverishly knitting on all the Christmas gifts you have planned. I had not planned on doing many handmade gifts this year. I did last year. This year I only have one handknit gift and I finished that a while ago. I might add some socks to certain gifts and just take those from my box of socks. I have been putting some of my socks aside rather than directly in my sock drawer so I have a few I could gift.

And speaking of Christmas and socks, I’m currently knitting on THREE Christmas themed socks!  That is the yarn is Christmas themed.

First up is a sock that I’m making up myself, it’s almost a vanilla sock. There is just this tiny detail on each side of the foot to break up the monotony of the stockinette stitch.

christmas sock one

This yarn is called Vintage Christmas and is from a US dyer called The Yarn Jar. A beautiful yarn and I love the colors she chose here. These will be for me:) And they are shorty socks by the way.

Next pair is most likely going to be a gift for a friend. Again this is yarn from The Yarn Jar. And I’m just doing a plain vanilla shorty sock.

christmas sock two

I really love the colors in this one and I’m hoping I will have enough yarn for a second pair of shorty socks that I would knit with contrasting heels and toes.

And the third pair is knit in Hippo for Christmas colorway from Lolo did it. The pattern is called Sugarplum Fairy by Knitterarium. This is a fun pattern with a lace panel at the top of the leg and the rest is in twisted rib.

sugarplum fairies

I’m at the heel here and look forward to continuing on this one.

I’m also working a little bit from time to time on the Second Avenue Wrap by Amy Miller. I’m knitting it out of singles yarns. All but one are my own hand dyed singles WITH sparkle! Talk about fun! It is a big project and I’m not usually a scarf/wrap knitter so it is somewhat on my back burner but it is such a beautiful pattern and the yarns I have chosen, I love, so I’m looking forward to having it done. Even if that may be a long time to get done.

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The bottom is a sort of wavy thing and at the moment it is rolling up on itself. I hope I will be able to block this correctly once the wrap is done. The sparkle is not showing in this picture but there is silver stellina in all the yarns except for the pink yarn that is the main part of what I have knit so far.

I’m also working on the test knit sweater and that is taking a lot of time. It is an over sized sweater knit in pieces and I think it is going to be somewhat slow going. It is fun though and I’m looking forward to wearing the finished garment. However it is top secret so no pictures yet:)

Now something I wanted to tell you about and maybe introduce you too is a book and an author I just discovered. This past weekend I finished a book that I thought was a fun read. It is a murder mystery with some yarn and knitting involved. Two of the things I enjoy the most!

This is a murder enquiry that takes place at a stitch show where everything is all about yarn and knitting designs.  This book is called Malice in Wonderland and the author’s name is Hilary Latimer. At the end of the book there is some bio on the author and turns out she is not just a writer but also a pattern designer! And she sells patterns on Ravelry and she also has some books out that can be bought on Amazon! How amazing is that?

Hilary has a group on Ravelry called Criminal knits …for the serial knitter in all of us. She has kals and seems like the group is a fun one to join.  So if you, like me, enjoy reading a nice, not too violent murder mystery with the added bonus of yarn then you should definitely check out this book and maybe even join her group on Ravelry.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderful and creative week. I hope you are taking the time to enjoy your knitting as we get ready for the holidays. And if you have any knitting related books you think we might want to put on our list for Santa, I’d love to hear about them!

Happy knitting:)