Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Designs & New Shops

Howdy Folks! It's way past time for me to show you the rest of the new stuff we released two months ago! It's been a little crazy around here--good crazy, but still.


First, here's my infamous Ravelry ID pic (I'm jenhagan there if you're on--look me up!) This is the Treehugger Mitts & Headband (obviously). It's done in the Jewel Cross-Rib stitch from the second Barbara Walker Treasury. I love this stitch! It's so much fun to execute, especially on these fingerless mitts and headband. You do the headband first, which familiarizes you with the stitch pattern, and then you're ready for the mitts.
Here's a pic of my tester Sue's pair on her daughter Kaity. Both samples are worked in Cascade 220 Superwash, which is the perfect yarn for the Treehuggers. So soft and comfy.



I think these mitts would be great for guys, too. They're not dainty, but look kinda Medieval gauntletty to me.






Next up, the Lace & Lattice Socks in Universal Yarns Pace. These socks start with a lace cuff top and morph into an easy knit/purl lattice stitch for the rest of the sock. The lattice goes down into the heel flap and out onto the wedge toe. The pattern has charts and written instructions for each part of the sock--from top to toe.

Even better, here is my tester Tracey's sock in Socka. Love the blue and love her socks. These socks have a dual personality--dainty surprise at the top of standard-looking diamond-enhanced fabric. The Mist Drops stitch pattern is also in BW's Second Treasury and is a super fun stitch. I learned the sl 1, k1, p2sso maneuver on these socks, with Tracey's help. My testers are great--they teach me stuff all the time!








The last new design is my Fedora Scarf & Socks, appropriately pictured with Fred's Fedora. I made this sample with Lorna's Laces Pewter Shepherd Sock and the scarf in their Shepherd Sport. They both feature the Garter & Rib Checks stitch, but the different yarns produce a different effect. It's an easy stitch with a beautiful result. Great for a guy, because it's not fussy.



Another of my great testers, Andrea, made her set in Lorna's, too, but in the Navy for the socks and Blackwatch for the Scarf. We both made them for our guys.



But wait, there's more! We've got a pile of new shops I haven't told you about. For those of you who got my first wonky, then corrected newsletter this weekend, sorry I clogged up your e-mail boxes with that, and you've already learned about all of this I'm telling you. If you don't know what I'm talking about and you would like for me to send you my newsletter, send your e-mail addy to yarnworks@figheadh.com and would love to send!

New Shops!


5633 California Ave. SW
Seattle, WA 98316
Phone: 206-935-2010



1314 South Grand Blvd. #1
Spokane, WA 99202
Phone (local): 509-455-8213
(toll free):877-455-YARN

216 West Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
Phone: 480-969-4346


635 South Broadway St.
Boulder, CO 80305
Phone: 303-494-1071


527 E. 4th St.
Loveland, CO 80537
Phone: 970-613-0556527


624 E. Lincoln Ave. # 102
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
Phone: 970-879-9090


1401 Commercial Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: 360-738-0167



2302 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone (local): 206-443-0727
(toll free):866-443-0727


706 South First Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 360-336-5202


1815 N 45th St., #215
Seattle, WA 98103
Phone: 206-547-5384


Unwind
11585 S. Highland Drive
Sandy, UT 84092
Phone: 801-433-8846

You can always check for info about all our shops on our retailers page, which helps you to locate Figheadh Yarnworks patterns at these fine shops, which is the very best way to buy patterns--the yarn to make them is right there, too! Go and see them if you are in the area.


Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to say hi (i.e. make a comment, why doncha?)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Sierra Club and Our Green Man


Our Figheadh Yarnworks logo has just recently undergone a transformation, thanks to the artistic talents of Cindy Moore, The Fitter Knitter! Isn't he gorgeous! A little backstory--I found a little man in George Bain's Celtic Art that supposedly is seen on a stone in Meigle, a Scottish town "situated at the extreme eastern borders of Perthshire, bounded by the rivers Isla and Dean and by the Sidlaw Hills and the mighty Grampian range." (I quote the town's site.) I transformed this merman into a Figheadh man by giving him a fig head and fig leaf feet. He used to look like this, complete with my Celtic border.


You will still see the old Figheadh Man about, but I like the clean lines and simplicity of the new one. He's also now usable in Web format, unlike the old hand-drawn art.

So, in celebration of our new and improved Figheadh Man, I want to make an announcement. If you would like to help us donate to the Sierra Club and get the Figheadh Man out to play, please have a look at our Cafe Press Shop. You'll see that I have affixed Mr. Figheadh to everything from dog T-shirts to coffee mugs, and many of them don't even say "Figheadh Yarnworks," so it wouldn't have to be such blatant advertising!

From now on, for every product purchased in the Cafe Press Figheadh Yarnworks store, all proceeds will go directly to the Sierra Club. In case you aren't familiar with this, here is what they do

"Your support will help the Sierra Club continue its efforts to:
Protect Wild Places and Endangered Species
Fight Pollution in our Water and Air
Ensure a Clean Energy Future
Solve Global Warming
Keep the Pressure on Politicians and Corporations to Ensure Safe and Healthy Communities"

(courtesy Sierra Club Web site)


Thanks for your help in donating to this worthy organization! Have a great day!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

TNNA & AKD

What's with all the letters? Well, they represent some things I've been so busy with the past four months that I haven't had time to post! Let me explain a bit....okay, a lot.

I became an associate member (aka aspiring professional) of the Association of Knitwear Designers in December 2003, then the Professional Knitwear Designers Guild or PKDG. This is a group of knitting and crochet designers which early in 2006 changed its name to AKD. I was inspired to join because of the impressive array of talent that I saw there and wanted to benefit from networking with other designers and learning to build my business and hone my craft. I decided to request a mentor, and I was paired with Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer of Heartstrings FiberArts. Boy, did I get lucky! She's the absolute best. She has been so generous with me and given me loads of great business and design advice, as well as just being there when I needed to rant. It makes all the difference when you have other people who do exactly what you do on a daily basis to compare notes with and to learn from.

Well, lo and behold, this last fall, just when I was applying to move up to pro level with AKD, the organization underwent an entire restructuring and became a corporation. This meant electing officers, as opposed to having an Executive Committee. Next thing you know I'm being asked if I would consent to being nominated for one of the three Director-at-Large spots, I said yes, boom, I'm elected, boom, I got my approval to be pro, boom, my business starts taking off. It's been crazy.

Now, to bring in the TNNA thing, I'll point you to Clara Parkes' report, which kinda says it all (and won't take up so much room here :-). Yes, this past weekend we had a blast at the TNNA Winter Trade Show. I had the pleasure of traveling and attending with my good friend and business associate, Sonya Acord of Yorkshire Yarns of Lakewood, WA. One service that we AKD members provide is to help yarn companies display their new yarns by knitting and crocheting swatches. Barry Klein at Trendsetter Yarns coordinates all the yarns and sends it to us participating AKD members. We each indicate how many yarns we are willing to test out. We get the yarns, we make a swatch, and we send them, labeled, back to Barry, and they end up on this wall.


This wall is amazing! As for the swatches, sometimes you'll see the traditional squares, rectangles, and circles, but sometimes the swatch will take the form of little sweaters, socks, etc. It's fun to see what everyone comes up with. What did I come up with?

Well, I requested only two yarns, because I knew this was all I could feasibly fit in. I received Obi, an organic superwash wool from The Great Adirondack Yarn Company and Bamboozle, a bamboo, cotton, elastic blend from Crystal Palace Yarns. Here's what I did with them.

(Please excuse the light.) I chose to make little top-down sweaters, because I am working up a class on this topic. The swatch on the left is the organic wool sample, of course, and is a little turtleneck with a braid cable down the front and deep 1/1 rib edges. The swatch on the right is the bamboo blend and is a little girl's top with seed stitch edges and a twist-stitch lattice area on the chest. This was so much fun! I only had enough left over of the wool to make a little brooch (I worked a single crochet triangle and affixed a leather backing and pin), but I had enough left over of the Bamboozle to make a toe-up baby sock and a little top-down dolly hat. I can't believe that I forgot to take pictures of the other little goodies, but I was working on those during the last week before the show and just ran out of time. I gave the extra goodies to the folks in each of their respective yarn company booths at the show. If you see these yarns in your LYS, get some and try it! They are both really good yarns and fun to work with.


















In the pic on top you see the little Bamboozle sweater with the other yarns and swatches at the Crystal Palace area, and in the bottom pic way in back up high is the little turtleneck with the other Great Adirondack swatches. This also gives you more of a closeup view of how the wall works. TNNA also provided notebooks with all of the yarns listed alphabetically by company, with a spot to tape in a little strand of each yarn. On the tables in front of each yarn company's display lay hunks of these strands, and you just take one and tape it in. Like so....
To wrap it up, this trip was worth it in so many ways. I got to meet wonderful people, eyeball beautiful yarns and notions, and I even took Melissa Leapman's class (thanks Knit Sisters for the post since I forgot to take pics and it was just like this!) on sweater shaping and Margaret Fisher's class on teaching. I loved both classes and learned a whole bunch! I had a very fun talk with Kim Werker of Interweave Crochet and another with the great and wonderful Clara Parkes, aka Queen Bee at Knitter's Review. The very best part was getting to meet a whole gaggle of talented designers and talk with each about what they do. The next show is in June in Columbus and we plan to exhibit. Whole 'nother story to come!
Here's a pic of my loot from this show. Looks like Christmas morning, doesn't it? Yarn from a few nice companies just for stopping by and chatting, needles from others, and even some color cards and magazines.



Now, off to do some knitting and crocheting, of course! Thanks for visiting!