Monday, August 29, 2016

A knitter's weekend when KAN isn't an option

This time last year I was recovering from a wonderful weekend at Knit August Nights, one of the annual New Zealand knitting retreats that hosts amazing classes and an indie yarn market. This year though, after having a big trip to Europe, I figured the bank account needed a little rest. So while lots of amazing KAN photos filled up my Instagram and Facebook feeds, I took a bit of time to have my own crafty weekend.

I'm officially over half way through my Overbury Fliptops. I've finished fliptop number one and the cuff of fliptop two. I've decided these mitts are the pinnacle of genius. I mean, they keep your hands warm, but they're also smartphone suitable, which is a real bonus. I'm enjoying the slip stitch cuff which is keeping the knitting interesting, and the biggest issue I've had so far is what buttons to add to secure the fliptop down when I'm using said smartphone... 

I'm using The Uncommon Thread's tough sock yarn that I bought at Loop in London, and it's so lovely to knit with. I've lost the skein band, but I think the colourway is Peat and it's one of those greys that will go with everything. We're in for another cold snap in Auckland this week, so I'm going to do my best to finish them very soon.

And I've also made a lot of good progress on my Equilibrium cardigan. Yes, you do see a Pom Pom Quarterly theme here. Both of these projects have come from different issues of the magazine, and as part of my Stash Less challenge, I'm trying to knit from patterns I already own, rather than buying more. Luckily my Pom Pom subscription comes with a very inspirational range of great patterns.

This is a simple stocking stitch knit, but the mix of increases and decreases into an X shape are giving it a really modern edge that will go with a lot of my wardrobe. I'm loving the Outlaw Yarn Vanitas DK for this project. I've knitted accessories with it before, but this is going to make for one luxurious caridgan that's going to be pretty versatile once finished. I still have to finish the back and the sleeves, and I need to watch a couple of how-to videos to remember how to proceed with the upcoming short-row section for the back. 

I also did a bit of sewing this weekend too, but more on that later in the week.
I really enjoyed taking the time to reconnect with my knitting after being away and then catching up on everything after my return. Sometimes it takes a little while to get back on top of everything and be able to find the space to reengage with projects. I definitely got the time to do that this weekend, and I'm feeling like I'm back on track! 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Paris knitting

Although I had intended to do some knitting while I was away, honestly all I managed was one inch of a cuff for a mitten. I decided to spend most of my time exploring, and making the most of being in an amazing place, and just change focus for a bit. But I did manage to find some treasures. Like Lil Weasel, where I got my hands on a skein of Hedgehog Fibres for the first time. This is such a beautiful little shop inside on of Paris' beautiful passages with independent art and gift shops.

It wouldn't be a visit to Paris without a quick brunch at L'Oisive Thé, which is the most adorable knitting shop / cafe that I've visited. We need one of these in my neighbouthood. Here I treated myself to a skein of Blue Moon Fibres Sock.

I have broken a rule with these skeins - I don't have a plan for them at all. It could be more socks or if combined with some other stuff, maybe a shawl, but I'm really pleased to have a couple of souvenirs from my trip, no matter what they end up being.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A tour with Stitching Up Paris

One of the highlights of my trip to Paris was a tour with the lovely Barbara of Stitching Up Paris. And it was like going fabric shopping with a close friend, someone I've known for a long time!

I've already raved about the book in numerous blog posts, but there is nothing better than being shown around by a local. Barbara took me around lots of beautiful fabric shops in the Sentier and the Bastille, and Filles du Calvaire, and while I was quite restrained with my shopping, it was incredible to see the variety of shops and different fabrics. The possibilities are actually endless here.

I was a bit silly and didn't take note of every shop we visited, but we focussed on fabric. And amazing little craft shops that just sold thread. Like Sajou (above). Oh my goodness, just heaven.

And I'm still trying to remember where I took this photo. I'm in love with the patterns and want to order them online (suitcase restrictions limited my purchasing) and of course, the photo is too blurry for me to figure out what the brands are... any ideas?

Here are my purchases from my tour, from General Diff and Tissu Market. Typically, they are all in my favourite colours, and both the checks are three metre coupons, so there is a lot of opportunity here. A huge thank you to Barbara for an amazing afternoon!