Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thunderstone & Beechbone Gauntlets

Recently we released two new glove pattern on the Figheadh Yarnworks site, and I'm here to tell you a bit more about them.

First up is the Thunderstone Gauntlets!
I found these two stitch patterns and just knew they would play well together in a glove. Once I tried the combination, they were clearly trying to depict an arrow's trajectory. Then I found out about the ancient belief that random aches and pains were caused by the shot from an elf's arrow, called elf-shot, of course. It was also believed that finding an arrowhead called a thunderstone gave you protection from these piercings, so there was my perfect name for the design.

Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, The Red Carpet & Beach Glass
I don't know about elf-shot, but these gloves will protect your hands from the cold, alrighty.

Second up is the Beechbone Gauntlets!
They are named so because of the two stitch patterns employed, the Beech Leaf Lace pattern at the cuff and the herringbone pattern that covers the back of the hand and that side of the fingers.
Sanguine Gryphon Eidos in Panchea
MacKintosh Iona Fingering in Safari
Both sets of gloves have a little ribbed area at the inner wrist to allow them to fit snugly. Both patterns are laid out mostly in a well-organized table format for easy reading while you work. The Beechbone pattern has a chart for the cuff as well as written instruction for the lace pattern. 

We hope you'll try them!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Brackenhill Shawlette Complete!

Holla! Freshly unpinned from the blocking board, I give own Brackenhill Shawlette worked in Ravenwood Cashmere!

Oh, the softness. Sometimes while knitting the shawl, the spin on the yarn would be so fine that I feared it would break, especially in places where there were yarnovers (intentional holes, for my non-knitting readers) and it seemed that one fine strand had the weight of all that went before. But I know this is just silly, because this yarn, although delicate, is strong. It will serve me for the rest of my life.
I already mentioned the slubs in my last post (I forgot in the last post that this is the official name for these), and they did blend in more when washed and blocked. I kind of like them in there--they lend character. 

The third skein only yielded one little slubby spot near the end of the shawl--entwined in the garter stitch edging. I could see that there were more to come, so while I don't really mind them, I was a glad enough when the shawl was complete before reaching those.
I love this shawl. I loved working it. I love the satiny sheen of the fiber--especially once it had its bath and stretching. I even loved finding that one pesky error in the pattern. Now it can be a totally pain-free knit for the next person.
We're seeing a rare bit of sun this morning, which allowed me to snap Brackenhill's glamour shots by the hearth. Her next feat is to wrap my neck in her cozy warmth on this breezy, damp March day.

The corrected version 2 of the Brackenhill Shawlette has been sent out to previous buyers, and now when you buy the pattern, you can be assured that everything works. I hope you'll try it.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Brackenhill Shawlette: At the Border!

Hurrah! I finished with the main body of my Brackenhill Shawlette and am ready to start the border!

Remember in this post I raved about how perfect that first skein of yarn was? Well, the second one was not so well-behaved. I encountered some spinning irregularities and a lot more guard hairs. While I don't consider it a problem, the irregularities did make for some interesting spots in the lace. 

You can see some fat, fluffy spots in the next three pictures. Look closely.

I could have tried to pull some of it out, but I did not want to tamper with this delicate cashmere. Some of it will relax when I block the shawl and will be hardly noticeable.

Here's what's left of the second skein. The third skein is on the winder and I can't wait to start the border. I wonder what surprises that third skein has in store for me?

Here are a couple of other notes from working the shawl to this point. I did not find any errors until row 127, section five. I will need to add a correction to the pattern, because instead of stating "k51" in the middle of that row, it should state "k53." I know exactly how this happened, too. Row 125 had to be edited because the stitch count was not ending up at 327 as it needed to be for the border. I decided to take out the last k2tog before the center panel and the first one after the center panel and replaced them with "k2" to make it add up. This made each of those two sections' counts arrive at 20 stitches instead of 19, unlike every other pattern repeat along that part of the row. Those two stitches caused the glitch.

Also, I carried on with my plan of not looking at the chart the whole time! I know you're thinking, "So what?", but I NEVER do this. I also played a little game with myself. I never advise this, but since I kinda know the pattern, it was safe for me. I only looked at the page I was knitting from and did not peek ahead. It had been long enough since I'd last looked at this pattern that it was enough of a surprise to just wait and see what came next. Would I have completed another section? Was there more? What came next? Oh, so fun! When I finished section five, I was overjoyed to see that the border was the next step. I figured I had at least another section of lace left to work. The shawl is so deceivingly small before you block it, you see. 

I got to this point faster than I thought I would because I've only been working it on Sundays and a little on weeknights since it is a personal project. Work knitting has to take priority. 

Hopefully pretty soon I will be back to show you the blocked shawlette!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Patch Pockets that Stick!

The following is by no means a complete tutorial, but a technique I have come to love for attaching patch pockets to knits. I have included links to a very reputable site which can help you further.

Charlotte tests out the Adcock
Since the new Figheadh Adcock Aran Cardigan runs in size from little folks to big folks, those pockets need to stay put. I don't use my pockets all that often, but the wee ones are known for putting all manner of treasures into theirs. Let's make sure those trinket-catchers don't come loose!

horizontal seam
Instead of just a hasty whip-stitch method of attaching pockets, I first line up the bottoms and sides where I want the pocket to reside and pin it in place--at least at first. Then I work a invisible horizontal seam across the bottom of the pocket. All this means is that I catch both sides of a body stitch, catch both sides of a corresponding stitch on the pocket, and repeat from right to left until a have worked all the way across to the other corner. Then I draw the yarn end to the inside and weave in later. Also, at this point I remove the positioning pins--they are in my way!

vertical seam, or mattress stitch
For the side seams, I simply work good old mattress stitch (or invisible vertical) from bottom of pocket to top, being careful to line up the two along one vertical column of knit stitches on the sweater body and on the pocket.

Then I work mattress stitch on the other side of the pocket, weave in all the ends, working an extra pass or two at the upper corners (where little hands can stretch and stretch), and there we go! 
Pockets that stick!

All pictures above are knit in Mrs. Crosby Plays Steamer Trunk, which is a sturdy superwash wool yarn. The wonderful color is hand-dyed Golden Butter.