There's been a great reaction to our knitting pattern relaunches in Vivacious and Gleem colours and it's made us think about some of the ways in which our patterns get reinterpreted by talented crafters. We invited Rhian of The Crafty Geek to talk us through her really fun interpretation of one of those patterns. Rhian is a blogger, writer, editor and designer in the fibre industry so she certainly knows her way around colourwork and knitting!
If you would like to win any of our relaunched patterns, you still have a chance if you head over to the Ravelry group and check out how to enter. Hurry- the competition ends this afternoon!
"One of the best things about knitting is that you’re not constrained to what’s popular or fashionable, or what designs are in the shops. As knitters we’re free to make our own clothes – to choose from patterns designed all over the globe, to carefully pick out the colours and yarns we like the best, and, if we wish, to tweak those patterns to suit ourselves, from adding length, ease or waist shaping to including or adapting colourwork or textured patterns.
When I first saw Jeni’s gorgeous Challow design, I fell in love with the drape and the shaping of the garment, as well as the pretty colourwork around the yoke. But although I knew I would love and wear the original design, I couldn’t resist making it even more... me.
I’m a self-confessed sci-fi geek, and one of my favourite programmes is Doctor Who, both the old show and the new. I’d seen the huge range of Who-inspired knits out there, and even knit a couple. So I couldn’t resist the little voice inside me saying “you know... you could swap that butterfly for a Dalek.”
And so I set to work.
I wasn’t convinced I could chart a Dalek by myself, so I turned to a design I’d made before: the Exfoliate pattern by Penwiper. This uses bobbles and purl stitches to create a textured Dalek, but it’s clear from the chart that it would work just as well as a colourwork design.
The easiest way to make the switch would be to do a straight swap in terms of the size of the motif. The original butterfly is 13 stitches across, and 13 high – but the actual chart, including borders,is 27 stitches high, so I knew I had this to play with without having to make any radical changes to the design! I played around with the chart of the Dalek and was able to crop it to 13 stitches wide by simply straightening the back. I tweaked the rest of the design a little, removing two of the horizontal lines to bring the design down to 22 rows high. This was too big to just replace the butterfly, but not tall enough to replace the whole of the chart with the borders. I decided that the solid lines at the base of the Daleks would create a strong line across the sweater to replace the bottom border, and I tweaked the top border slightly to run above my Daleks.
I was pleased to find I still had a gap between the top of the Dalek and the top border – in the pattern, this is where the short rows are placed to raise the back of the sweater. If my pattern had covered those rounds, I’d have either had to distort the colourwork or move the shaping, possibly affecting the fit of the top, so I’m glad that wasn’t the case! And now when I wear it, it’s an easy way to tell which is the front and which is the back – the back has a larger gap between the top of the Daleks and the border.
Having finalised my basic chart and ensured it would fit, I was left with one more challenge before casting on. The original butterfly design is symmetrical, but the Dalek is facing side-on. There are a number of ways to deal with this – I could have had all the Daleks facing the same way around the whole top, or I could possibly have mirrored them down the middle of the sweater. For the size I was working, the chart was repeated 20 times around – an even number. Because of this I decided to work the Daleks in pairs, groups of two facing each other. If I’d been working a size with an odd number of chart repeats, I would have had to choose a different arrangement, or worked fewer repeats with a gap in between each one.
With all that decided, all I had left to do was knit the top! It was an easy knit; the body and sleeves were very straightforward in-the-round knitting, with the colourwork at the end to keep things interesting. I was very nervous about how it would actually look when I was done – I have to shamefacedly admit I never swatched the design, just waited to see how it looked knitted all around the yoke. Bad knitter! But it worked better than I could have imagined, and always draws attention and compliments when worn. I love having a top that’s so very, very “me” (with thanks to Jeni and Penwiper), and currently have plans to adapt several more knitting patterns in a geeky way."
Well this week was decidedly cold and wet here in the UK. We spent much of the week peeling warm layers on and off, relearning how to work our central heating thermostats and grabbing plenty of warming brews! Here's a round up of some of our favourite fingerless mitt patterns that call for Fyberspates yarn- get knitting!
We love these Beira Mitts by Liz Corke. Originally worked up in Rural Charm by Fyberspates, we think Vivacious or Scrumptious 4ply would be the perfect substitute. The mitts are super stretchy due to the twisted rib and will fit most teens and women and it’s easy to adjust the size. The twisted rib means they will fit with plenty of negative ease. If you want to make the gloves a different size, you can simply add or remove extra ribbing from the palm.
Perhaps you're in the mood for something intricate and a tad challenging? These Leighton House Handwarmers are incredible by Ella Austin and call for jewel tones of Scrumptious Lace. Ella's patterns are always beautifully presented and with easy to follow instructions, this colourwork would be as fun to knit as it would be to wear!
These Sherbet Mitts by Ysolda Teague feature in the Saturday Treat collection, an exclusive collaboration with Fyberspates. This pattern takes advantage of the crisp stitch definition of Scrumptious 4ply and the light reflecting silk emphasises the strong relief effect and different textures between the sections worked in reverse stockinette and garter stitch.
For beginners who are just starting to move away from plain knit stitch, Claudya are the perfect next step to learning a few more stitches and completing a project to wear! Knit flat before blocking and seaming, these mittens combine simple stitches and scrumptious yarn to keep hands warm while still leaving fingers free to wiggle! This pattern calls for just a single skein of Scrumptious DK/Worsted.
These intricately crocheted mitts call for one skein of Vivacious 4ply and brilliantly showcase the handdyed nature of the yarn. The Dragonscale Gloves by Rachel Barlow contain the notes, "the palm is made using a flatter stitch so that the scales won’t get in the way when typing or hugging hot chocolate mugs"- a girl of our own hearts!
These Raymi mitts by Inspiration Knits with sun-ray ribs brighten the greyest of days. Ideal for vacation knitting, you can make a beautiful pair of Leave These To Me another fab fingerless mitt pattern) and a pair of Raymi from one 100g skein of Vivacious 4ply, and they’re on the same size needles too. This way you get two different projects to keep you entertained while you’re away, packed in the space for one project. It’s a fantastic alternative to one pair of vacation socks, don’t you think?
Whatever you decide, we hope your hands are snuggly and your days filled with crunchy leaves and warming drinks. More next week!
pppsssttttt! Keep an eye on our Ravelry group as there's a giveaway coming up to celebrate a release very soon. If you never want to miss a giveaway or new release, don't forget to sign up to our newsletter!
Following the huge response to our competition, our two Cumulus patterns are live on Ravelry and winging their way to retailers for you to snap up and get knitting. Newsletter subscribers should check their inboxes too for their exclusive 20% discount code when purchasing either of these patterns psssst! Never miss out on a special discount or promotion again, sign up is here).
Both of these patterns are designed by the very talented Vladimira Ilkovicov of Vadis Designs for Fyberspates. Our patterns feature schematics and details of fit to help you choose your size and includes both written as well as charted instructions.
The Modra Pullover is a cute, fitted sweater, knitted in Cumulus yarn. Worked flat before it is blocked and seamed together, this sweater looks best with no ease to show off the delicate lace detail that features in the body of this sweater and is echoed in the sleeves. Waist shaping is worked to add flattering shape to this feminine garment.
Size ranges are multisized to include a range of sizes from a bust size of 32 inches through to 50 inches with an actual bust size of 32 1⁄4 to 50 1⁄2 inches. Work up the closest size to your bust measurement with minimal ease for a snug and flattering fit.
This smallest size of this sweater only requires 5 balls of Cumulus thanks to the light airy gauge it is worked up in. Shown here in the Teal colourway, the yardage requirements run from 5 x 25g balls of Cumulus to 9 x 25g balls of Cumulus Yarn.
Perhaps a shrug seems more appealing with this inconsistent Autumnal weather?
The Aowena Shrug is a pretty, lightweight shoulder cover, with a simple and effective lace pattern for a little added glamour that is also designed by Vladimira. This shrug is worked flat before being seamed during finishing and with easy to follow charts and simple stitch repeats this makes it a perfect beginner’s lace project or ideal for knit night chatter for the more experienced knitter who needs a little stitch interest to hold their attention.
Aowena is multisized: S, M, L and XL with the smallest size only requiring 3 balls of Cumulus. Cumulus can be bought at a wide range of retailers and the pattern is available both in print from retailers and via Ravelry as part of the instore sales program. So whether you grab it today at home or use it as an excuse to visit your local store, you’ve got everything you need to get knitting.
- Have a great week!
Since launching our Cumulus patterns, we've been thinking a lot about colour. Did you know that when we developed this latest addition to the Fyberspates range, we selected a colour palette based on its cloudlike structure? As well as the usual jewel tones we're known and loved for, we wanted something soft and with a few more neutrals to complement the tone and character of this silky yarn with a great halo.
We are so excited to share this guest post today from Kelly of Celtic Cast On, a blogger with a huge reputation for great choices in colour when working up her wonderful knitwear. She's going to talk you through choosing colours to help you make patterns like the Aolani mitts really shine.
Take it away Kelly!
Choosing colours for your next knitting project can be just as fun as the actual act of knitting.
My mind usually bounces to the colour I picture knitting a project in but sometimes I get, should we say, Colour Block? More often than not this happens when using more than one colour in the same project. When we start talking about 3 or more colours things get a little daunting.
How do you know what colours will complement each other? How can they look so great side by side in the ball and then not work together when knit up?
Lets look at the three main principles of Colour Theory and apply it to the Cumulus yarn collection by Fyberspates.
The easiest and most obvious choice for me would be to choose colours that stay in the same colour family, a gradient or Analogous. For example Moonlight, Teal and Sea Green in Culumus make a lovely combination.
Or Sea green, water and teal that were used in the Aolani pattern.
If we want to get more adventurous and use another principle of colour theory, it states that two colours opposite each other on the colour wheel will always be harmonious or complementary. My eye automatically jumps to Rust (a warm colour) and Teal (a cool colour),opposites do attract.
The last principle is Split Complementary. You choose a colour on the wheel, look across to its complementary colour but use the colour on either side of the complement.
If all this seems a little overwhelming there are a few quick tricks you can fall back on when you are experiencing a Colour Block.
When it comes to colour, don't be afraid to explore and try different colour combinations.
There are so many possibilities!
Introducing two new patterns to be launched on Monday 6th October 2014 from Fyberspates.
The Modra Pullover is a cute, fitted sweater, knitted in Cumulus yarn by Fyberspates. Worked flat before it is blocked and seamed together, this sweater looks best with no ease to show off the delicate lace detail that features in the body of this sweater and is echoed in the sleeves.
The Aowena Shrug is a pretty, lightweight shoulder cover, with a simple and effective lace pattern for a little added glamour. Worked up in luxurious Cumulus, a Baby Suri Alpaca and Mulberry Silk blend from Fyberspates, Aowena comes in 4 sizes: S, M, L and XL. This shrug is worked flat before being seamed during finishing and with easy to follow charts and simple stitch repeats this makes it a perfect beginner’s lace project or ideal for knit night chatter for the more experienced knitter who needs a little stitch interest to hold their attention.
To celebrate these soon to be released patterns, we’re hosting a competition. All you have to do is go to the pattern pages of either pattern on Ravelry and tell us the unique blend that creates our Cumulus yarn so incredibly soft! Leave a comment on the relevant post on Facebook by midday BST Monday 6th October and you can win the pattern and yarn to make whichever of these patterns you most want to make! Good Luck!
Going to Yarndale this weekend? So are we! You can find all the recent Cumulus patterns with yarn support, the LAST of the hand dyes (discounted!) and a few other treats to stock up with so be sure to come say hi!
Fyberspates will be sharing a stand with Chester Wool Company at Yarndale and if you've been thinking about stocking Fyberspates yarns or patterns, come say hi at the booth this weekend. We're taking patterns, yarns and shadecards for retailers to get to know our stock a little better and Jeni will be on hand with any questions you might have.
Fyberspates will be hosting plenty at our stand at Yarndale but we wanted to let you know that if you drop by the booth at Laughing Hens, you will find even more of our yarns! Laughing Hens will be hosting Scrumtpious in 4ply and Lace, Vivacious in 4ply and DK AND Gleem Lace. Go grab some!
Continuing our Cumulus Pattern releases, here is a delicate shawl that would be perfect for wrapping around shoulders on cooler days or dressing up an outfit for a special occasion.
The Twiss Crescent Shawl is an elegant accessory designed by Anniken Allis that starts out as a rectangle knitted sideways before stitches are picked up along the straight edge and a combination of short rows and decreases are worked to shape the shawl. Using 3 balls of Cumulus by Fyberspates, this shawl is worked on size 3.25mm needles to really accentuate the delicate loft of Cumulus that is the result of 74% Baby Suri Alpaca and 26% Silk.
The pattern includes both written and charted instructions for the lace sections which repeat enough that a novice lace knitter would enjoy this as well as something quick and interesting for the more experienced knitter.
Twiss is available now for direct download from Ravelry or check your nearest Fyberspates retailer.
Another release in our Cumulus pattern range from designer Sara Anthony-Boon and this one has some really interesting construction.
The Tarpooley Scarf is a snuggly scarf edged with a contrasting panel of pretty ruffles, knitted in soft Cumulus yarn. Slipped stitches along the side of the scarf stop any curling and the ruffle borders add feminine texture as well as weight to this lofty scarf.
Ruffle borders, knit with contrasting yarn, are worked first before stitches are grafted together and the scarf is continued in the main colour. Clear instructions are given for all techniques throughout for this deceptively simple scarf.
The sample here is shown in 3 balls of Sea Green for the main colour and 1 for the Silver for the contrast. As well as this soft colours that reflect the ethereal quality of Cumulus, you will also find more jewel like tones that are typical of the Fyberspates range. We like to mix things up a bit!
The Tarpooley Scarf is ready for download on Ravelry and don't forget Sara is hosting a giveaway on her blog post that tells you all about her inspiration here.
Oops. Sometimes the best intentions are thrown off by tech issues. We are now fixed and back up and running- brace yourself for lots of Cumulus patterns and chat!
Another Cumulus pattern just went live that makes great use of the delicate loft that Baby Suri Alpaca and Silk provides. The Ellora Scarf pattern is designed by Sara Anthony- Boon aka Textureknit and it is just in time for those looking for simple Christmas knits for loved ones.
A curvaceous cable panel runs between textured moss stitch in this pretty scarf, using soft and warm Cumulus yarn. This scarf is perfect for novice knitters taking first steps into cables as the pattern provides clear written and charted instructions.
This scarf uses 3 balls of Cumulus (shown here in Silver) and is worked on larger needles to make best use of this lofty yarn with a great halo. The cables form soft ripples down the scarf as a result of combining larger needles and thanks to the airy fabric Cumulus can provide, this scarf will work through most seasons as it is warm but not dense.
We’ve started creating a useful Pinboard over on Pinterest to help knitters fine tune techniques from this week’s patterns. You can find blocking and beginner cable tutorials that are great for helping novice knitters get to grips with techniques the Ellora Scarf uses.
Be sure to check out Sara’s blog too where she’s not only talking about this latest release but hosting a giveaway too!
Jane Waller & Susan Crawford: A Stitch in Time Volume 1
Vintage Knitting & Crochet Patterns 1920 - 1949
Bruce Weinstein: Knits Men Want
The 10 rules every woman should know before knitting for a man plus the only 10 patterns she'll ever need
Elizabeth Zimmermann: Knitting without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes (Knitting Without Tears SL 466)
A great book with lots of information on knitting techniques.
Lynne Barr: Reversible Knitting
50 Brand-new, Groundbreaking Stitch Patterns