Family, Knitting

In Progress

I’ve always been the sort of knitter who prefers to focus on one project, watch it grow, customize it along the way, block it with a flourish, and then move on to the next project.

But I have not been true to form lately. Before I’ve finished one project, I’m starting another, and then another…

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A pile of works in progress!

I don’t think I can honestly claim to be a one-project-at-a-time knitter any more because I currently have:
… four shawls,

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Lacey Leaf Shawl
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Echo Flowers Shawl
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Serape Shawl
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Willow Shawl, worked in brioche stitch

… one pair of socks…

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Daisy Field Socks
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The second Daisy Field sock making some progress

… and a baby blanket on the needles…

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Simple garter stitch baby blanket with picot edging

With a baby sweater just about ready to be blocked!

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Yarn for baby sweater – Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Celedon and Fallen Cloud
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Baby Wrap Cardigan in progress!
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Just need to sew on the ties & block!

Waiting in the wings are: several pairs of mitts for friends , various baby items for my newest niece or nephew on the way, and two toy rabbits!

All in all, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and quite behind with my knitting. As much as I hate to do it, I think it may be time to work on bringing my knitting expectations back into line with reality again… 😉

What does your To-Knit list look like? Are you a knitter who enjoys working multiple projects at a time, or do you prefer to focus on one thing at a time?

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 knittinginfrance.com! 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, knittinginfrance.com, by clicking here; and you can visit her Etsy shop by clicking here.

And now for the piece by Bogga – Enjoy!

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THE PASSION THAT GREW OR HOW I WENT FROM BEING “JUST” A KNITTER TO SELLING ONLINE

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 🙂

Bogga

Family, Knitting

Bunny Home!


We had a lovely couple of days in Maryland visiting my family…

with my sister in law, Annelies

 

my sister, Hannah, andd brother in law, Everitte

 

with Mom in the kitchen

 

 

with my sister, Melody

 

Annelies & Hannah with the family dog, Charis

 

There was a lot of talking, laughing, and yummy food!

with my niece, Vera

And of course there was little Vera; we couldn’t get enough of her!

We introduced her to Bunny


…they seemed to get along quite well together!




Annelies decided to wait and let Vera give Bunny a more specific name herself when she’s old enough…

…I’m really looking forward to finding out what she comes up with! 😊

Family, Knitting

All About Miss Fox

Progress and photos of Miss Fox have been scattered through several different posts, so I thought I would bring them together for you here…

yarn for miss fox

For Miss Fox, I’m using Cascade Yarns Cascade 220 in a lovely rusty brown, cream, and black (for ear and tail tips!).

Her dress will be the Knit Picks Shine Sport in cream with light pink and bright Spring green accents!

  

I started with Miss Fox’s head. Here I’m getting ready to attach her ears…

  

… and embroider her cute little face! I believe her ears are my favorite! 

  

Next, I made her body…

  

It was a beautiful day for anything, but especially for knitting!

  

This, by the way, is my favorite “nice weather” knitting spot, which I got to enjoy while knitting Miss Fox’s body and one of her feet!

  

Body finished! Now on to the feet…!

  

The feet are interesting…

  

…because you start at the bottom of the shoe, work up to the top and bind off…

  

…then pick up stitches…

  

  …for the little pink socks!

 

Foot finished! Now you pick up stitches for the leg…

  

…and of course, repeat, because Miss Fox needs two feet and two legs! 😉

Now it’s time to sew up the legs, stuff them, and attach them to the body! Perhaps next time you see her, Miss Fox may be all in one piece…! 😃

Family, Knitting, Seasons, Uncategorized

Spring – Again!

It seems Spring has arrived at last, friends!

 

Our cheerful herald, the robin, is proof! 

 

 Last year, I had such a hard time getting even one (not so great) photo of a robin…

 

I ran all over the yard for hours, chasing after robins (who were hopping happily to and fro) trying to get at least one photo in which you could tell it was a robin and not some sort of speck. You would not believe how fast those little buggers are! Nor how skittish! In the end, the only way I was able to manage even one meager shot was by hiding behind one tree after another as I hopped after the crazy robin… It’s a really good thing I live out in the country and don’t have any neighbors to wonder about my sanity…

 

This year, I took a much more intelligent approach. Or maybe it was lazy? I simply sat. In one place. On the back deck. And I waited. For the Robin to hop close enough… and then… I took his picture! Not the best robin portrait ever, but definitely an improvement upon last year…!

    

The first Crocus in my flower beds, still closed yet from the night’s chilliness…

Later in the day, when it got a little warmer, it opened out all the way!

 

There are buds starting on trees, folks!

  

 And Daffodils pushing up out of the ground!

  

  

And it was even warm enough for a lovely afternoon knit on the back deck…

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Miss Fox now has a head, a body, and one little shoe-with-sock! Hopefully there will be time for more out door knitting tomorrow…! 

Family, Knitting, Uncategorized

Bunny Finished!

The Bunny is complete…

… and clothed!

Here is her little dress just finished…

front
back

I think her dotty pink dress is just the perfect final touch!

Although, when I make her a second dress, there is one thing I believe I will do differently…

… leave a hole for the adorable little tail!

Now, for a little fox…

yarn for miss fox
head and ears

Claire is making a gorgeous little elephant! Check out her blog for a peek!

Family, Knitting

Bunny Progress

The bunny has been growing!



two little feet

Two feet, ready for stuffing…



two little feet

Two little feet, finished and ready to go!



bunny



One little bunny, with head and legs attached…



little bunny

….and body stuffed!





Voila! Arms…



cute little tail


And tail!



cottontail

(Love that tail…)



happy bunny

I think bunny is very happy to be all in one piece now! 



start of a pink dotty dress


This week, Claire and I are working on dresses for the bunnies! 

Knitting

So Much to Knit, so Little Time…

I don’t know about you, but I can always find more projects that I want to knit much faster than I can actually knit them!

Here are a few recent finds that I’m adding to my queue…

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The Undergrowth Hat by Mandy Powers. I just love the colorwork – and the colors used! Any contrasting colors would work great, but that teal is breathtaking! And the pattern is free!

 

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The Glacier Gloves by Julia Mueller have such intricate cabling. I can’t wait to give them a try!

 

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And The Gamayun Bird Shawl by Natalia Sha is truly spectacular! The feathers look so real!  And I love the rainbow colors, they make me feel happy!

 

I have recently become obsessed with Reindeer!

ChristmasReindeer

Amelie-Claire’s Christmas Reindeer is beyond adorable! It’s based on the pattern for Murray The Reindeer by Dawn Toussaint. A “Murray” would make a great Christmas gift for my niece next year…

 

moosefairislehat

And I know several people on my Christmas 2015 Gifting List who will be getting this awesome Moose Fair Isle Hat; the pattern is by ResQCrafts! That’s right! It’s never too early to start planning for next year…

What projects are you looking forward to in 2015?