Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cable Crest

Thanks to my friend Sue and her fine testing skills, I now have another new pattern ready.


I have been having lots of fun over the past year or so making cables from 2/2 rib. There is an absolutely endless array of cables possible. I have had to stop myself, or I'd just do it forever. I will come back to it--I must! It's so much fun.

This sample is made with the scrumdiddlyishus Malabrigo Kettle-Dyed Worsted Merino Wool. This color, called Melody, kinda looks like I dropped in the Georgia red mud...but in a good way!

I used size 8 needles to give the fat, single-ply (see, I've been learning from Clara--see this post) lots of room to breathe.
Here's a detail shot of the Cable Crest--a little dance of cables choreographed from the k2 bands.

The hat starts just like the scarf, but joins at the back. You could leave it like that, come to think if it, if you just wanted a headband. But if you want a toque kind of hat, stitches are picked up on one edge of the headband and immediately decreased for the crown. It's so comfy!

Doesn't it look comfy on Sue's lovely daughter Rachel modeling Sue's Cable Crest? Sue made hers with Morehouse Farm Merino Wool in a soft lavendar. So pretty! I think she actually got this yarn at last year's Knitter's Review Retreat (yep, it all goes back to Clara).
We were going to use Malabrigo for the test, but wow, we had some troubles. First, I ordered some Tiger Lily Malabrigo from Sarah at Knot Another Hat. In her fantastic-customer-service way, she sent it pronto. But, when I opened the box, I was greeted by Cheetos! It was so bright I could barely look at it. I had to send it right back. Then we tried Cypress Malabrigo and Sarah did the swap for me and sent it straight to Sue. Well, it was almost black. We knew this would not adequately show off the cables, so Sue offered to use stash yarn and replace it with the Cypress, which she will use for something suitable for such a dark color. Whew!
I tell you this story to caution you about ordering Malabrigo online. Neither the colors on the Malabrigo site nor any other site can really give you an idea of the true colors. My advice is to either buy it in person or ask the online retailer for some help.
One more note: As you can see, my scarf is a shortish one at 50", but Sue made hers 74" long so that she could wrap it around her neck and let the Crest ends hang to the waist. You can make it any length you want, because the middle section of the scarf is just the rib.
Okay, enough waxing on. Gotta go. Fred and I are having our Fright Night tonight, since Halloween falls on a weeknight again this year. We must get to the store before all the good pizzas get taken!
Have a very fun Saturday and Sunday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Buzz

Clara's book is getting good buzz. Check out this wonderful review by Jen.

Guess what I finally did! I created a Figheadh Yarnworks newsletter. If you'd like to be included in the list to receive the quarterly newsletter, just send your e-mail address to info@figheadh.com, or just leave a comment that includes some kind of link to e-mail. (It's very frustrating when folks leave comments, especially asking questions, and then I can't find their e-mail anywhere.) I promise to keep your e-mail address a secret.

Have a look at Roxane Price's Winter Gem gloves from the Aug-Oct issue of Cast On magazine. (I put these in the newsletter, too.)




Aren't they pretty? She's going to give them to someone special.
Thanks, Roxane! I have been begging for folks to send me pics of their Figheadh Yarnworks projects, or of any of my designs in magazines or books. The request stands, as always. I would love to show off your work!

Send me pictures at yarnworks@figheadh.com!

Thanks!

I also have to show you my new foot! Well, it's my unattached foot--my regular two are still working just fine. I got this one from Sonya at Yorkshire Yarns. She had plenty, and was generous enough to give me one. Now I can show off the socks better. Don't the Cables & Lace Socks look much better when you can see the lace?



Sonya also gave me a man foot. He needs an ankle extension, but I like!










One last thing--we got to add another great shop to the list who carry our patterns! Now you can get Figheadh Yarnworks patterns at the Seattle Yarn Gallery. Head on over and see Virginia and her gang!
Okay, that's all--back to your stitchin'!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's a (k)boy!















At long last, look what came in the mail today-- my own autographed copy of Clara's book! It was all sweetly wrapped in white tissue with this beautiful, chunky pink yarn tying it together. I felt my eyes well up when I opened it and read Clara's sweet words.

Okay, folks. Listen. To. Me. You must go and buy this book pronto. Buy it, read it, and LEARN. It seems almost too good to be true that there are also 40 patterns (all of which I want to knit) graciously adorning these pages. Just the bounty of information would be enough. You can only believe it when you see it. No, I'm not gonna show you inside. You have to get your own.

Clara tells her story of how this book came to be here. I'll tell you about my small part of the glory. In April 2006, Clara sent me an e-mail, said she had gotten my name from Anjeanette (another terrific person in her own right, and who has done some testing for me), and asked me if I would like to "come out and play" with her on a book she was writing. Of course, I said yes, and she gave me a run-down of some fibers and ideas for yarns that she was bouncing around (the ideas, not the yarns-hyuk, hyuk). I pitched her some of my own (ideas, not yarn--again), she either said "Yeah!" or she asked for tweaking until we came up with five projects. She got me the yarn and I got to work. Boy, did I have fun working with Clara. She was always receptive, always encouraging. I got to knit four of the five projects--the Cabled Tea Cozy, the Cabled Fingerless Mitts, the Baby Cardigan, and the Baby Onesie. As you know, the onesie was cut from the book, and The Cabled Headband was knit by someone else, because time was getting short and Clara wanted to decide between different fibers. She had to hand it to someone a lot closer than Tacoma, WA. Clara's in Maine, you see. Then, since August of last year, when I wrapped up my part of the deal, it's been a test of patience waiting for this day. It was worth every agonizing minute.

I can't tell you how proud I am to be a part of this book. If you see me in the next few months (years), I'll probably be carrying the (k)boy around with me, telling everyone about Clara. This book should be in every yarn shop and on every knitter's reference shelf. I'm not biased--you'll see.

Oh, and I've been calling it (K)BOY for a few weeks, but Clara has for a lot longer, apparently. Read her blog and see why.

I'm hugging myself (and the book) over here!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fall Fun


In keeping with my current "sock-in-the-grass" favorite photo shot, here's an upgrade of my very first sock design, the Cables & Lace Sock. It's really simple, but makes such a beguiling little sock. The first sample I made was with the old Brown Sheep Handpaint Wildfoote in Desert Grass. Loved the color--hated the yarn. It was splitty and unyielding.






This one is made with the new Wildfoote, which, although heavily prone to twist, is sproingy and fun. This is the Rhapsody colorway (SY-200) and is a mix of jewel tones that the picture really didn't capture. It's actually darker and richer in tone--more like in this picture of the other skein yet untouched. Yep, I need to make the other sock.






But that'll have to wait. I have started work on my next women's sweater--a cabled pullover knit from the neck down. I've been wanting to try that, so I'm really excited. It seems the perfect thing to make sure your sleeves are the perfect length, and to make the body as long as you wish.

Meanwhile, we acquired new shop friends! The Yarn Stash in Burien, WA, now has Figheadh patterns. Yea! Fred and I had a wonderful time last Saturday visiting Bonnie and Beth, the owners, and a few of their very friendly customers. We are going to be there on Sunday, November 18, to do a casual presentation and sample showing. If you are near Burien, please stop in anytime from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M and see us!

Also, stay tuned for more new designs. The patterns are starting to come out of testing and as they get ready, I will show and tell! We have a fingerless mitts & headband design, and a scarf and hat design coming any day now, as well as a cabled women's zip cardigan I hope to be showing you before the month is out. There are also a couple of sock designs on their way and more headbands--good for presents!

I have started submitting to books and magazines earlier than I thought I would, but I just can't resist! It's such fun. Hard work, but fun.

I hope you're enjoying the fall weather as much as we are--I can't wait until Halloween. I want a caramel apple!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Meet Baloo!

Okay, here's part of what I've been up to since the last post--getting a new pattern ready. Here's Baloo!Baloo is a Scots lullaby word, so I thought it would be perfect for this little suit. This design was one I worked on with Clara Parkes for the new book The Knitter's Book of Yarn, coming out on October 16!! It got cut from the book, probably because of space constraints (at least that's what Pollyanna me tells herself), but that's okay. I get to put it in the Figheadh line. I used Cascade 220 Superwash and a touch smaller needle--size 6--to make it close and cozy. Meredith at Write As Rain Editing is also to be credited for helping me get this pattern up to snuff--she's the best!

Stay tuned, because there are more new designs in the queue.

Also, thanks so much to Emy, Kate, twig, and Dawn for your warm comments on the Winter Gem gloves in the August-October Cast On. Just be sure to check their corrections page if you make the gloves--there were a couple more fixes.

Thanks for dropping by!