Giveaway, Knitting

And the Winner Is…

I want to thank each and every one of you, from the very bottom of my heart, for your warm and enthusiastic participation in the Sock Blank Kit Giveaway!


It is now time for the long awaited announcement…

Please join me in congratulating: Sarah N. (a.k.a. salpal1), the winner of the Knitting in France Sock Blank Kit!

Congratulations, salpal1! May this Sock Blank Kit bring you many hours of joyful knitting!


For anyone who may be interested in another chance at a Knitting in France giveaway, Bogga is currently hosting another giveaway on her blog (click here to check it out) through Friday, March 18th. This giveaway offers a chance to win a free self-published pattern by designer Nancy Whitman! They are pretty gorgeous…

Giveaway, Knitting

Knitting with Sock Blanks & Giveaway

The main reason for my experimental foray into the world of knitting with sock blanks was to find out what it is like and to share that experience and some helpful resources with you. I discovered that sock blanks are some of the most gorgeous and unique sock yarns available. I particularly love the hand-painted ones by Bogga of Knitting in France. You can check them out in her online shop here. I also discovered that sock blanks are versatile, easy to work with, very portable, and, most importantly, produce gorgeous socks (among other things – the possibilities are potentially endless) and I am now the happy owner of a pair of lovely pink ombre specimens! It was a great experience and I can say with confidence that I foresee many more beautiful sock blanks making their way into my future!

This experiment was undertaken as a joint effort between Bogga and I. Bogga generously donated two gorgeous sock blank knitting kits – one for me to try out, and one for a giveaway – details to come later in this post! I had heard the term “sock blank” before, but had never seen one up close let alone used one. Really, until now, I had no idea what a sock blank was or how to use it. When I searched online, I found precious little information to help me out and most of it was rather disappointingly vague. So we want to spread the word – sock blanks are easy to work with, stunningly beautiful, and lots of fun!

Let’s talk about the materials and methods involved. Let’s start with the sock blank itself. Maybe you’re wondering, like I did at first, “What exactly is a sock blank?!” Very simply put, a sock blank is a skein of sock yarn that has been machine knit into a flat rectangular length of knitted fabric with a few rows of scrap yarn forming a selvedge at one edge.


A sock blank can be either single-knit or double-knit. A single-knit sock blank is exactly what it sounds like – it has been machine knit with only one strand of yarn. A double-knit sock blank is also exactly what it sounds like – it has been machine knit holding two strands of yarn together so that you can have two separate working yarns when you unravel it to work with later. This is perfect, for example, for making socks using the magic loop method.

Most sock blanks are beautifully hand-dyed by fiber artists, like Bogga, with hand-painting being a very popular and lovely method. My sock blank was gorgeously hand-painted by Bogga in a pink ombre from the palest of pale pinks to a vibrant magenta – I love it! (The sock blank in the giveaway kit is a stunning blue ombre – from palest blue to breathtaking azure! Of course, I love that one too! Who wouldn’t?!)

Also included in the sock-blank knitting kit that Bogga sent (and, of course, in the give away kit as well!) were a gorgeous set of stitch markers and a lovely project bag! All that’s left to gather together then is the knitter’s choice of needles and pattern.

What to make with a sock blank? The possibilities are endless, friends! Of course, a very popular choice is to make a pair of socks, but one could make virtually anything – matching hat & gloves, a scarf or cowl, a shawl (may need more than one sock blank for this depending on the size of the shawl), leg warmers, arm warmers, etc…Pretty much anything that you would make with sock yarn can be made with sock blanks!

But how, exactly, does one use a sock blank to knit with, you may be wondering, as I was. Well, I have great news for you: It’s simple, and very easy. All one must to do to knit with a sock blank is unravel it a bit at a time, and knit with the portion of yarn you’ve just unraveled! Yep, it’s that easy! Yes! You actually GET to unravel something for FUN! Start at the selvedge end of the sock blank, with the scrap yarn edge and unravel that until you get to the “real” sock yarn. Separate the scrap yarn from the sock yarn – untie it or snip it off with scissors. Unravel a portion of the sock yarn to work with and begin casting on for your project!

What did I make with my first-time-ever sock blank? I knit a pair of socks, plain socks. Toe up, magic loop socks. My sock blank was double-knit, so it worked perfectly with the magic loop method of sock knitting. It was actually two firsts for me: My first time knitting with a sock blank, and my first time using the magic loop method.

Magic loop is a sock knitting method whereby one uses a circular needle to knit both socks, side by side, at the same time. Of course, for that method it’s necessary to have either two balls of yarn or a double-knit sock blank so you can have two separate working yarns – one for each sock. I love magic loop because it allowed me to avoid the dreaded “second sock syndrome.” Here is a link to the free pattern I used for the socks.  The pattern was well written and instructional enough to allow someone (like me) who had never used the magic loop method before or knit two socks at once to be successful and enjoy the process. Here also are a couple of helpful video tutorials on the magic loop method for anyone who (like me) might find them useful:

Knitting in the Round on Magic Loop – Basic is a great introduction to magic loop and how it works.

Cast-Ons – Two at a Time – Liat’s Limitless cast on for two at a time ANYthing is a great for learning two at a time magic loop cast-on. Note that it is an example of casting on for an open tube, so direct application of these instructions would be perfect for top down socks or any other project where your starting edges are open.

Two at a Time Magic Loop Socks by VeryPink Knits  is a very detailed, in-depth tutorial that includes a link to the sock pattern used in the tutorial. It is specifically about how to make two at a time, toe up magic loop socks.


Let’s talk about results. What kind of results did I see from my sock blank knitting experiment? Quite a lot! I found it helpful to group them into several categories: Tangible, technical, and general knitterly development. The most obvious result, of course is the tangible one – the actual pair of lovely new pink ombre socks that are now keeping my feet toasty warm! And may also eventually result in a sock knitting addiction… Technical results include knowledge and experience gained from learning a new skill, such as how easy sock blanks are to work with, that they are extremely versatile both in purpose and appearance, and that they are amazingly portable. Results in the area of general knitterly development include developing more interest in sock knitting in general, and in knitting with sock blanks specifically, as well as increased knitting-confidence – all as a result of a great positive experience with sock blanks. I may also be feeling an urge to go look at more hand-painted sock blanks… 😉

Hand knit socks. I’ve never really gotten into the sock knitting scene before. Sure, I’ve knit a pair here and there, but for whatever reason, it didn’t hold my attention until now. Maybe it was because I gave the socks away and therefore never experienced what it’s like to wear a pair of hand knit socks. So nice. Heavenly! I don’t want to go back if can help it! Darning socks may even be worth it! (I’m already working on a back-up pair right now.) Look out family members – you may all be introduced to the luxury of hand knit socks at some point in the foreseeable future!

Easy, sock blanks are so easy to knit with. You just unravel a bit, knit, unravel some more, knit some more, and so on. The yarn is kinky of course, from having been knit into the blank, but that is perfectly fine. Once you block your finished socks, the yarn is perfectly smooth again. I found that the kinkiness did not bother me while I was knitting. It was actually kind of fascinating and novel, in a way.

It was also really fascinating to see the color changes coming as I unraveled the yarn from the sock blank and then knit it up. Depending on the style/patterning used in hand-painting or dying your sock blank, the color changes could be subtle or intense, with each being fascinating and gorgeous in its own way. Add the diversity and uniqueness of the hand-painted or dyed coloring of the sock blank to the wide variety of items you can make with it, and you have an extremely versatile medium with seemingly endless possibilities.

Sock blanks are very portable and comfortable to knit with. They just lie flat on your lap while you knit, and take up very little space either on your lap or in your knitting/project bag. You don’t need to worry about chasing them around like a ball of yarn, and you don’t need to wind them into a center-pull ball before you can cast on like you would with a skein. You can just unravel the selvedge and start casting on!

If you are using a double-knit sock blank and knitting two items at once (for example: knitting two socks at once using the magic loop method), like I was, I did discover one thing to be aware of: Pay attention to which way you turn your work. If you turn your work around in the same direction every time, you will end up twisting the two strands of working yarn so tightly together that eventually it becomes impossible to knit anymore and you must stop and untwist. As I discovered (the hard way), it is infinitely more efficient and enjoyable to pay attention to which way you turned your work last, and turn it the other way next time so that you don’t twist your working yarns together multiple times.

Learning how to knit with a sock blank felt so adventurous! Gaining a new skill and experience increased my self-confidence as an individual and as a knitter. And there is just something beautifully wholesome about creating something new as you are unraveling yarn from something else. If you’ve never tried knitting with sock blanks before, or even if it’s just been a while, I’d encourage you to give it a try!

To that end, we have the giveaway that I mentioned earlier! The prize is the second sock blank knitting kit that Bogga so generously donated! It contains: A gorgeous double-knit blue ombre sock blank, a set of stitch markers, a project bag, and a Knitting in France magnet!

To enter, visit Bogga’s Etsy Shop and have a look around; leave a comment on this blog post about an item you saw there that caught your fancy! Then click on this link:a Rafflecopter giveaway to record your entry. For a bonus entry, you can also choose to tweet a message about what you might make with the sock blank if you win! (Note: There are links to the shop and back to the blog on the Giveaway page).

The Giveaway runs from Monday, March 7th, 2016 through Monday, March 14th, 2016. A winner will be selected at random, notified by email, and announced on the blog. Good luck!

Blogs I love, Knitting

A Big Welcome to Guest Blogger Borghildur!

Today I’m super excited to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers: Borghildur (Bogga) of! I’ve been following her lovely blog for quite a while now, and I always find her posts interesting and inspiring! She writes about her life in France, her passion for the fiber arts (knitting and hand-dyeing yarns and wools in particular) and crafting by hand in general. Something I love about the way Bogga writes is how she shares her life and love of fiber arts in such a real and down to earth manner. She gives a glimpse into the normal and the everyday of a fellow fiber artist, and it’s a wonderful breath of fresh air!

Something else I truly admire about Bogga is the way she has turned her passion for knitting, handcrafting, and the fiber arts into her own small business – a way to support herself, doing what she loves! That takes a lot of courage, commitment, and hard work. Many of us (including myself) have dreamed of this; it’s so exciting to see Bogga putting it into action every day! You can visit her blog,, by clicking here; and you can visit her Etsy shop by clicking here.

And now for the piece by Bogga – Enjoy!



Hi, my name is Borghildur or Bogga as I’m known to most people. I’m Icelandic and I live in France. First off, I’d like to thank Sarah for allowing me to participate in her blog by writing a guest post, and thank you for taking the time to read my words.

So today I’m going to talk about this passion that grew from general interest to something much bigger and totally consuming. Knitting!

If you are reading this blog, I’m guessing that you too are a knitter and maybe also a crocheter and even a spinner and thus understand how this passion can be overpowering 🙂

So to begin at the beginning, as a child in Iceland, I learned to knit (among other crafts) at school and I thought that was nice and my mother enjoyed knitting so she would help me out also. I would knit simple things like garter stitch hanger covers or scarfs. When I became an adolescent I lost interest in crafts and knitting and it wasn’t until I became pregnant with my first child that I really got back to knitting. At the beginning of my pregnancy I lived in France where access to knitting supplies and just general interest in the craft was almost non existent! I did however manage to source some yarn by mail order and also bought some magazines with patterns. At the time I did both knit and crochet and my supplies were either Phildar or Bérgère de France (you may know these brands). Then we moved to Iceland for a couple of years and I continued to knit on a regular basis.  Then we moved back to France in 1999 and haven’t left since. When I came back knitting was still almost unknown though I did make friends with 1 person who knit like me! That was exceptional.

I think everything changed when I fell pregnant with my third child. I took time off from work to be a stay at home mom but still wanted to be active and do things. I also had this dream of making my own living and doing something I love and so I looked into selling my hand knits. I actually made 3 contacts with shops that agreed to buy and sell my hand knits. I did also do some commission knitting for individuals – those were only baby clothes.

baby set

As for the three shops, one was a shop in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland, that sold baby items and for them I crocheted softies/toys for small babies. That went on for about a year but as the crocheted toys did not sell as well as expected I stopped doing them.

baby bunny

Then there was the souvenir shop at the National Museum of Iceland. I worked with them for about 2 years. I would knit accessories out of Icelandic wool, loop and lett loop. Accessories for adults and children. I would mostly use traditional patterns and colour work and I really enjoyed knitting those and was super proud that my handiwork was being sold at the National Museum.

Here are some picture to give you an idea of the items I knit for them.

sjonvarpssokkar hat and mitten sheep sets

traditional icelandic mitts traditional icelandic scarfs

Then there was an independently owned and run souvenir shop in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland, and for them I mostly did knit and felted accessories. What I was most proud of there were my handbags that I designed and knit and felted for them only. I used Kuoni yarn (Estonian) and even though that was not Icelandic those did sell well.

handknit bag

my own design for knit and felted handbags more knit and felted hats and mitts

So this was really the beginning of me trying to turn my love of knitting into something that could bring me income. I soon realised that selling finished goods was not a viable solution. When you have shop contracts thats good but when selling to individuals, it is very difficult to get a valid price for your work and materials. And for shops, well if your things sell well, you need to find the time to fulfil incoming orders. So I abandoned this idea.

However this had opened up my mind to so many other things fibre related and I began to document myself. I would buy a gazillion books and read and learn about all sorts of knitting techniques, fibres, tools, selling techniques and so forth. I began knitting constantly, every chance I had. Here’s a picture of me knitting on my extreme knitting needles which I found quite interesting, although due to the size of the needles I always felt that I was not really knitting as the movements are not the same.

knitting on giant needles

In 2011 I suffered a back injury and was out of work for a year. During that time I seriously thought about how I could turn this passion and new knowledge into a job with an income. I began dyeing yarn (which I LOVE doing) and then later on I learned to spin (also a huge passion for me).

And that is when I launched my online knitting shop which I still enjoy running. I developed a passion for making stitch markers and knitting needle holders and sell those in my shop. And I even tried a little designing only I didn’t actually write down the patterns like I should! I wish I had!! I designed a cowl and fingerless mittens and those I did write down but the super cute baby dress that has received lots of compliments…. I did not write that one down!

baby dress

Isn’t that cute? I used my own hand dyed yarn as well 🙂

And the cowl and mittens also knit with my hand dyed yarns:

bogga mittens bogga cowl

So as you can see I’ve come a long way from my child hood garter stitch scarfs. I’m constantly trying to learn more about fibre and yarn, how they can be worked, what the quality of each one is, how to best dye or knit them. I’m also progressing as a spinner and a hand dyer and maker of accessories. I really love what I do and as of recently I have started blogging as well as upped the ante on my social media presence and that is a great way to share my passion with others and continue to learn and help others on their way to more learning as well.

When I look over my “career” in the knitting business, what I love most is the actual knitting and spinning. Knitting has also introduced to me to a lot of interesting likeminded people and that is a great perk and knitters/crocheters are just such nice people as we all know 🙂

I hope you enjoyed reading about how my passion went from knitting garter stitch hanger covers to where I’m at now. If you too have dabbled in selling your work or if you have become obsessed with learning everything there is to learn about knitting/spinning/crocheting/dyeing I’d love to hear about your experience.

That’s all. thank you for reading 🙂


Blogs I love, Knitting

A big welcome to my guest blogger Sarah

I was super excited to have the wonderful opportunity to write a guest post for a blog that I truly love – knittinginfrance! Bogga writes about her life, knitting and hand-dying, in Normandy, France; and her small business selling her hand-made treasures on Etsy! You can check out my guest post here, and while you’re at it, I encourage you to check out Bogga’s lovely blog and the gorgeous items in her Etsy shop!

Welcome to Knitting in France

Hi there, today I’m super excited to introduce you to one of my followers, Sarah Inskeep, which is also a blogger like myself. A while back I posted about the idea of having guest posts on my blog as an added fun for all of us and Sarah was quick to contact me and offer to do a post. And now I have received her post and I’m very happy to share it with you all:)

Sarah lives in the United States and she blogs about her life and love of knitting and spinning. You can visit her blog Sarahinskeep – Life, love and happiness by clicking here

Now before I share her post, I’d just like to reiterate my offer for guest posting. If you like writing, if you have a blog yourself, if you love knitting/crochet/spinning/felting, if you enjoy sharing your passion and would like to do a…

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