Tadaa: My first yarn!

Hello Everyone!

In November I got a Louet S10 spinning wheel for my birthday. It needed some “quick” repairs to get it functioning but I had wanted a wheel for ages (I thought it would suit me better than a spindle) and was very glad to get my hands on this one.

The quick repairs ended up being a bit more involved than we had anticipated so I had to wait a little longer before i could start spinning with it. My dad laid the last hand on the wheel during the Christmas holidays so it’s now in perfect working order.

This led to me giving spinning on a wheel a first shot on the 4th of January and spinning my first yarn!

This is the roving I used. It’ a 100 grams of 100% merino and consists of several strands of different colours of purple. I split the braid in half lengthwise. I spun the first half randomly and the second half I split according to the colors and spun from dark to light. I then plied the 2 singles together.

I ended up with this:

I was pretty excited to finish my first wheel spun yarn so wanted to knit with it immediately. I wanted to knit a relatively simple pattern to give the yarn  chance to shine and because more complicated patterns would likely be completely swallowed by the slightly thick and thin nature of the yarn. I ended up going with the Handbrake Cowl by Kay and Dan Jones (you know, those 2 from the Bakery bears podcast? Which I love by the way!) because I had the right  yardage (maybe a tiny bit more).

And this is the result!

The patterning is a little harder to see in real life than in the picture, but it is visible. If you’re close to the cowl you just need to squint a little to see it.

You can see the slight gradient much better in reality than in this picture. Camera’s always seem to have some trouble with purple and this cowl is PURPLE. It is really really bright. The bottom garter border is completely in the light section and the top border is almost completely in the darkest color.  The middle section colors are more similar so the transition is a little harder to see there.

I’m really pleased with the finished result! It’s cool to see the cowl and really that I spun and knit it! It’s very soft and very cozy and warm. especially now that it’s cold I do see myself wearing this a lot.

Next project: Trying to spin a sock yarn!

Love, Renée

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Pattern: Shifting Rib iPad Sleeve

Hello Everyone!

A few days ago I released my latest pattern: The shifting rib iPad sleeve.

Shifting Rib Ipad sleeve with buttoned flap

I already have 2 other iPad sleeve pattern s out there, but those are both colorwork and I wanted a different option out there for those of you who don’t like stranded colorwork. I wanted to keep it simple with a rib, but didn’t want the knitting to get dull (because knitting inches upon inches op ribbing does unfortunately get a little boring!) so opted for this shifting rib. The rib makes the sleeve very stretchy.

Here’s the information from the pattern page (click here):

The Shifting Rib iPad sleeve is very stretchy due to the ribbed texture. The iPad sleeve would work well in both variegated and solids yarns. The shifting of the rib creates a texture that is interesting to look at, yet simple to knit.

The pattern includes instructions for 2 different styles of flap: an envelope style flap that closes by tucking the flap in or a buttoned flap. Sample has an envelope style flap.

This pattern was written for a iPad 1,2,3, and 4 and iPad Air. Instructions are given to change the height and width of the ipad sleeve.
Measurements of iPad 2:
Height: 241 mm (9.50 inch)
Width: 186 mm (7.31 inch)
Depth: 8.6 mm (0.34 inch)

Gauge: 5 stitches per inch and 7 rows per inch in stockinette (worked flat).

Pattern is written. Pattern is 2 pages long.

The pattern is 3 euros (excluding VAT for those of us in the EU).

I actually ended up liking this one more than the colorwork ones. I think it’s the cute buttons I used. The reddish pink is such a nice contrast to the light green. And because they’re mismatched it’s a bit more playful.

What do you think of the shifting rib iPad sleeve?

Love, Renée

2016 Crafting goals

Hello Everyone,

Like most people do at the beginning of January I have come up with some goals to start the year with. I already blogged about my biggest goal for the year: improving my health. Unfortunately I haven’t started off too grand and have been feeling rather blah this first week. I had several migraine attacks, accidentally ate spoiled yoghurt (stupid!) and have been really really tired. I feel like all I’ve done is sleep! This also means that i’ve been too tired to really take my goal of eating better seriously and have quickly stumbled back into my old rhythm. Even though I bought plenty of healthy food, i’ve been too tired to cook so have jumped to easy quick meals (a microwave meal that I needed to finish, soup, a ready made salad, etc). It also shows in other aspects of my life, my apartment could use a vacuum and the bathroom needs a bit of cleaning. But i think i’ll start by washing the dishes as i’m out of forks and plates and it’s stacking up. Stupidly I always hate doing the dishes and put it off, when it’s 15 minutes of work and when my kitchen is clean I feel much better. So i’m giving myself a kick in the pants as I’m sitting here typing: tomorrow I do the dishes (and something fun! read on to learn what), Saturday i’m signing up at the gym and going for a run (I found an app that sounds perfect and very motivating, if i like it i’ll post about it!) and Sunday is cleaning day.

But my life is not going to be all about my health this year. I want to do more fun things (an some necessary things that will be fun once i’m done with them, like finishing up the last few courses of my Business Economics study and getting my bachelors!). If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that I knit and crochet. I also got my first spinning wheel and have started spinning! I also design my own patterns and sell them on Ravelry. I have some goals I would like to achieve this year and those are what I’m going to be sharing with you this year.

Crafty goals:

  • Try brioche
  • Knit at least 20 pairs of socks (in 2015 I managed 18 and I can definitely manage more!
  • Knit/Crochet from stash. I have too much stash for my storage and need to downsize a little.
  • Yarn no-buy: This is related to the previous goal. Until I size my stash down a bit I can’t buy more yarn. Depending on how much I use up in 6 months I might lengthen this to a year. I did add a few caveats to this: If it’s special and limited edition (meaning I can’t get it after. But this can’t be more than 5 skeins for the whole year of 2 for 6 months. This doesn’t include fiber, I hardly have fiber and seeing how much i’ve spun in the first 3 days since I first sat down at my wheel I’m going to work through what I have fast!
  • Do more crochet! Last year I was mainly focussed on knitting and I feel like i’m forgetting how to crochet. I want to do some more crochet and rediscover my love for it.
  • Finish a wip: my floral fantasy blanket.
  • Spin and knit a pair of handspun socks.

Floral Fantasy

Floral Fantasy

Designing goals:

  • I want to publish at least 1 design a month, so 12 throughout the year. More is even better!
  • Finish updating all my patterns to the new and improved format.
  • Get a logo made.
  • Design a sock collection of 7 patterns.
  • Design a cowl.
  • Submit at least 1 design to a 3rd party.
  • Upload patterns properly to Loveknitting and look into other platforms.

I also have some goals related to the ones I have mentioned so far or that don’t really fall into these 2 categories.

  • Blog regularly! I like blogging, so I should just do it. I’m not going to stress about writing perfectly. This is a personal blog, expect personal writings, knitting and all things that interest me. I’m aiming for a minimum of 1 post per week, but would prefer to do more. But let’s just see if I can manage that before I set the bar to high and ignore the blog for another year.
  • Start a podcast!!! I love watching podcasts and for a few months now I’ve been thinking about starting my own. It just looks so fun! I’m actually recording my first episode tomorrow!
  • Update blog and work on a nice lay out.

This is all I can think of right now! Still quite the list haha!

Love, Renée

2015 Crafty Round up

Hello Everyone,

Because i’ve been absent for the blog for most of 2015 you have no idea what I’ve been making. (Unless you follow me on Instagram, i’m pretty active there! In the top right you can see my latest instagram photo!). Today I’ll show you what my favourites were!

My Arne and Carlos Socks

My Arne and Carlos socks are a firm favourite. I don’t have many vanilla socks, but in 2015 I discovered I really enjoy a nice plain sock every now and then. I love this colorway (Regia Design line by Arne & Carlos in colour 03654). I think these may be my fastest socks ever, they only took me 5 days!

Project page: here.

Promovendus socks

2015 was quite special design wise. I released 10 new patterns and released my very first (but not last!) sock pattern: Promovendus socks. The idea for these socks had been lying around for almost a year before I got around to it and they turned out so much better than I could have imagined. It’s really fun to see others knitting a pattern you wrote. I actually knit 2 pairs of Promovendus socks. My sister liked the pair above a  lot and suggested I make her a black pair with good beads. I pretended to blow her off, “no time, black yarn on black needles is hard…” (I prefer knitting on my Karbonz double point and those are black). And then proceeded to surprise her with them for christmas!

Pattern: Promovendus – Renée Kies.

Project page: here and here.

Malabrigo ski bonnet

My Malabrigo Ski Bonnet was another favourite this year. I had never knit a bonnet before because I thought the shape wouldn’t look good on me. After knitting this one I want to knit many more, this style of hat is so comfortable! The yarn I used is special to me as I bought it in New York when I was there with my dad for my 21st birthday.

Pattern: Neon Ski Bonnet – Lacey Volk.

Project page: here.

Snuggles jacket

2015 saw me finally finishing my Snuggles jacket. I had bought the yarn about 1,5 years ago, cast on immediately and then never touched it again. This year I ripped it out (which is quite a challenge with bouclé yarn!) and started over. I finally managed to finish it and am very please with the end result! I have yet to wear it though….

Pattern: 142-21 Snuggles jacket and neck warmer – DROPS design.

Project page: here.

 

I have a lot of other fun projects that i’m proud of, but these are my absolute favourites. What’s your favourite project from 2015?

Love, Renée

New year, new chances!

Hello everyone!

Happy new year! I want to wish you all the best for 2016!

2015 for me turned out to be very different than I had hoped or expected. After getting diagnosed with Celiac disease in juli of 2014 and starting my gluten free life I had sort of expected my health to improve with leaps and bounds in 2015. I’d been eating gluten free for over 6 months, I should start to feel a bit better. But it turned out my expectations were a little off and 2015 didn’t really see me improving much.

I transferred my care to a celiac specialist and it turns out I am what he called a “slow responder”. I have the diet down (he was actually worried I might be a bit to strict!) and it hardly costs any extra effort any more. It really feels natural. But even though I was doing everything right, I wasn’t improving. My body has been through the wringer after years without a diagnosis and me still eating gluten. It just needed more time than most need to adapt to the fact that it wasn’t being hurt anymore. So throughout the year I still had all my issues (nausea, belly aches, really bad bloating, and some less savoury issues haha). In hindsight some of it turned out to be my fault too. I stopped my b12 injections in the beginning of the year. Right when I thought I might be improving, but was hesitant to say it out loud and end up jinxing it. I got tablets to take instead, but in the next 2-3 months I started feeling a lot worse. it was the end of the school year and I just checked it up to end of year stress. But it didn’t get better over the holidays even though those where heavenly and completely stress free. In the beginning of september I had had enough. I still had some b12 and decided to just see if an injection would help. Almost immediately after my first shot I started improving again. I started injecting twice weekly after consulting my doctors and soon those worsened symptoms were all gone again. But due to the temporary stop in injections i’m still working on getting to where I was at the beginning of the year (when I stopped the injections). Thankfully I have an amazing doctor who says that as long as i notice a different and i’m still having issues I should keep injecting. We can try stopping again when my overall health is better.

Which brings me to my main goals for 2016. Where 2015 was all about my bad health, I want 2016 to be about improvement. For years I’ve been to sick to work out, but this year I’m going to start. I’ll be starting slowly and very carefully, because due to the long neglect my body is extremely sensitive to injuries. Right now I have an injured leg muscle (i think) because I put on socks. I put them on just like I always do but… If you just look at a muscle wrong it injures itself. I don’t want to over do it and have to stop.

I also want to start eating a little healthier. I have a sweet tooth. I love candy and chips. I often skip breakfast for an extra 15 minutes in bed before school. No more. I want to eat healthier and see if that helps improve my health. I also want to cut down the amount of sugar I eat as it just can’t be good to snack as much as I do.

I really have a good feeling about 2016 and these are my main two goals. I have a bunch of crafty goals and have some serious plans for this blog too. For now I’ll leave it at this and wish you all the best for the new year. I hope you’ve had a lovely 2015!

Love, Renée