Monday, December 12, 2016

Sixpence Hat

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

I'm here with a little gift for you. It's been over six years since I released a free pattern, so let's make up for lost time! I am so grateful for each and every one of you who has purchased either one of my Figheadh patterns or Mirth patterns. I mean, grateful every time I see a pattern purchase--and PayPal lets me know each and every time. I always utter a little prayer of gratitude whenever this happens, because I am truly grateful that it still happens! I hope it continues.

Now on with your gift!

The Sixpence Hat came from wanting to use just two little cables to make a simple, classic beanie. Once I developed the idea and had my first try, I saw that it had six coin cables stacked on top of one another. That's why the name. The sixpence coin was once used in Great Britain for six pennies, or pence. Although the coin was retired in 1980, the term is still floated around.

Bare Naked Wools Kent DK

Here's the beanie style of the Sixpence, showing how the crown decrease forms a little flower on top. That takes some maneuvering, because the integrity of the cables and twists is maintained throughout. The pattern has charts for each section and detailed written instruction for round-by-round execution of all the techniques involved. 

You can find it in my Ravelry store here, or you can go straight to our site version here.
Cascade 220 Superwash

I hope you'll try the Sixpence Hat either for a gift or for yourself! It's a unisex design, so make one for anybody and everybody!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Scrappy Sock Experiment: Yarn Sample Cards!

Over the summer I cleared out and stored away some of my yarn to get things a lot neater around here. I also went through all my designing books and files and notebooks and did some pretty serious decluttering. It took a bunch of trips to the recycling center and some shredding, but I feel much lighter for it! I also feel much less distracted by not having everything out and in my face. I'm trying to focus. Give me strength!

Among the clutter there were some old yarn sample cards that, although I won't use again, I just could not part with. Some ideas came to me about how to use them instead of just trashing them. First up was an entire set of samples from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. I once set up a wholesale account with the company and ordered a fair amount, a lot of which I still have, but that was six years ago. Knowing I would not use the yarn cards again, and knowing they were out of date, I started disassembling them. Once I took the strands out, I could see that most of them were a yard long each. I could work with that!

First I tried tiny granny squares with a few of them, but I soon saw that joining those into one piece or even using them to embellish another piece was about to get really fiddly.

Then I had a eureka moment and wondered if the strands could be worked into scrappy socks, my most recent obsession. I grabbed a partial skein of Claudia's Shells on the Beach colorway for my neutral and knit up a toe using Judy's Magic Cast On. Then I grabbed one of the yard-long strands from the color card and found that it would knit two rounds of the sock perfectly! Using the Fair Isle joining method, I just kept going, joining a new strand every two rounds until I got to the heel. Fortunately, there were two of these yard-long strands for each color, so I just set aside the second one for the second sock. 

It was so much fun watching the colors interact with one another. It was also fun choosing which color would go next and which would go next and...boy, were these not boring socks to knit!

On the first pair of socks, I used the same neutral colorway chosen for the toe to knit the Fish Lips Kiss Heel and then the 2/2 ribbed cuff at the end.

Once the sock was complete, I just turned it wrong-side-out and tidied up the strands. After pulling a little on each one to make sure there were no slouchy areas, I snipped the ends a little. Ultimately there were only two ends to weave in--the one at the cast on and the one at the bind off.

Sock pair number one is the first one that I knit. You can tell that I started with the more muted, natural hues for the foot and then got into some lighter, more playful colors for the leg. I also did not manage to match both the socks in pair number one as well as with pair number two. It took the second pair to get my system down. With sock pair number two, I was left with all the really bright colors. For the second pair I used Claudia's Stormy Day for the toe and the cuff, but used her Caribbean Blue for the heel to keep things more colorful.

So between these two pair of socks, you have just about all the colors from Claudia's 2010 color selection. She still has a lot of these colors available (some have been retired but some new ones have been added) and is now calling her fingering weight yarn "Addiction." Go check out all the beauty!

Now I am looking at some of my other old yarn cards and wondering what I can do with them. I'll show you if anything comes of it. 

Happy Yarn Scrapping!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Knitting the Top-Down Raglan Cardigan, Part Four

We've finally arrived at the button and buttonhole bands of the cardigan. If you've been knitting your own cardigan along with reading these posts, I know you're pretty glad to have an entire sweater sitting before you--with no seams! 

And that's one reason I chose the picked-up button bands for this sweater. There are other ways to construct a button band, one of which is to knit the band separately and seam it to the front openings. To keep this cardigan seamless, let's work it with picked-up stitches.

The pickup ratio for any part of any sweater (when adding an edge to the side of the fabric) usually goes like this--for lightweight yarns, a pickup ratio of three stitches for every four rows, and for heavier weights, a ratio of two stitches for every three rows. That's for knitting Stockinette Stitch perpendicularly onto the same stitch pattern. But we are working with two different stitch patterns and those two have different gauges. It gets even more complicated than that. 
Stay with me.

The body of the cardigan is worked in Stockinette stitch, but the button bands are worked in 1/1 rib. Of course those two have different stitch gauges!

My cardigan knit with Schaefer Nichole on size 4 needles has a stitch gauge of 6 spi (stitches per inch), but 1/1 rib with these materials has a gauge of 5.75 spi on the button bands and 7 spi on the body edge and cuff. Why the difference?

You can see in the above picture that the ribbing on the cuff is more contracted than that on the buttonhole band, even though they are the same type of stitch. One reason is that the rib on the cuff is worked directly onto the sleeve at the end of the Stockinette stitch sleeve--it is knit in the same direction. The rib on the buttonhole band is knit along the edge, or perpendicular to the Stockinette stitch. They each serve a different function and behave differently according to that function. The rib on the body edge and the cuff (especially the cuff) need to hug that area of the body. The rib on the buttonhole band needs to lie smoothly along the front edges and hold the holes for fastening the buttons. The opposite button band needs to lie smoothly along the other front edge and hold the buttons themselves. 

Okay, back to picking up stitches.

Before I started, I placed a marker two rows below my last neck edge increase so that would know where to stop picking up stitches. I did pick up three stitches for every four rows because it felt like it was behaving well that way. You will need to do what feels best for you.

In the picture above, you can see that for every three stitches there is a slight gap where I skipped a row.

Truly, the only way to know is to just pick up stitches, knit the band, bind off all the stitches, and lay it flat to see that it doesn't pull in too tightly or get all wavy because it's too loose. If you don't like it, rip it and adjust.  If its too tight, pick up more stitches, and if it's too loose, pick up fewer stitches. 

When working the button bands on my 3-spi version of the cardigan, I started by picking up two stitches for every three rows (as shown above) and soon determined that it was going to be too tight. I switched to three stitches for every four rows and it came out fine.

Once the button band was complete, I used markers to decide where to place my buttons. Then I replaced each marker with a button sewn on. This is all made easier with the use of ribbing to help you read the stitches. In this case, I was able to make the placement fall so that there were six knit stitches between each button (in other words, 13 stitches between each) and I attached the button to the next knit stitch. The lower button was placed six stitches above the lower edge, because I like for that lowermost button to fall in the middle of the body rib height. The topmost button was placed 14 stitches below the top edge because the very last stitch column is where I will pick up for the collar, making it disappear.

To knit the collar, pick up stitches at the top of the button band (one for each row of the band), more stitches along the right neck edge at the same rate as the band, all the stitches at the top of the right sleeve, all the stitches along the back neck, all the stitches at the top of the left sleeve, the same number along the left neck edge as the right neck edge, and then one stitch for each row of the buttonhole band. 

Yes, you may have noticed that I made the buttonhole and button band "backward." I say, out with that silly antiquated notion! Put the buttons on either side as to preference (or because you weren't paying attention). Will the planet stop spinning?  I can attest that it will not. 

Bravo to you if you have knit your cardigan. Bravo to you if you are thinking about knitting a cardigan. Any of the Figheadh Fundamental Top-Down Cardigans is a good place to start, as are any of the Figheadh Fundamentals. Each pattern has multiple sizes and instructions for knitting all those sizes in any of four yarn weights, which means you could use them for any yarn in your stash!

Thank you for following along on the top-down cardigan party. I could honestly just knit from this pattern forever, but I guess I'd better get back to some scrappy socks! I'll show you that next time.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Knitting the Top-Down Raglan Cardigan, Part Three

We are in the middle of a bunch of information to help with knitting the Figheadh Fundamental Top-Down Cardigans, especially the women's version. These little tutorials will help you with any of the Fundamental Top-Down Cardigans, and there are versions for anyone in the family, even babies!

In this installment, we are discussing the sleeve knitting.

When the body of the cardigan is complete... will use your 16" circular needle to begin the sleeves. 
First, slip all the stitches from scrap yarn to the 16" circular, as in the picture above.

Pick up half (or nearly half) the underarm stitches from the body at the first of this round. Since this sweater I am knitting is the size 36 with bulky yarn, I only have two stitches to pick up here, and you can see them lurking up there behind the right-hand needle tip.

From there I knit across all the sleeve stitches, picked up one more stitch at the end of the round from the body, placed a marker, and knit the sleeve from there in the round. I did not add any extra stitches to the pickup to close holes. The stitches are so loose on this bulky version that I wanted to go a different route. You can see in the above picture that I do have a couple of holes and loose spots here.

So I turned the work to the wrong side, tightened up the stitches in those spots, and used the yarn end to work some duplicate stitching to further close up the holes. This looks good enough for me.

I am also working up another cardigan in size 34 with a sport weight yarn on size 4 (3.5 mm) needles using the 6-stitch gauge version in the pattern. I wanted to show you some differences. Above you see the sleeve stitches on the 16" circular ready for me to pick up the underarm stitches.

The picture above shows how I joined my new yarn and picked up the leftmost three stitches from the body underarm using my handy tool with a pick at one end and a crochet hook at the other (I love this thing!)

Then in the picture above you see that I slid those three stitches to my working needle, picked up two extra stitches from the gap between the stitches just picked up and the sleeve stitches waiting on the other end of the circular, and knit the first sleeve stitch. The first of those two extra stitches was picked up from the stitch below the third (the last) stitch picked up from the body. The second of the two extra stitches was picked up from the bar (or running thread) between the picked up stitches and the first of the sleeve stitches. This will sufficiently close the hole wanting to form there. When picking up and knitting these extra stitches, it is essential to twist them by knitting into their backs (sounds menacing).

After I knit across all the sleeve stitches I did the same at the other end, as seen above. I picked up an extra stitch from the bar between the last sleeve stitch and the body stitches. Then I picked up the second extra stitch from the stitch below where I planned to pick up the first of the three body stitches remaining at the underarm. Next I picked up stitches from the remaining three body stitches, placed a marker and knit the next round. In that round I decreased the extra stitches by working k2, ssk, k2tog, knit to last 6 stitches, ssk, k2tog, k2. That brings me back to my requisite 94 stitches for the sleeve at pickup.

After knitting a couple more rounds, you can see in the picture above that this made the underarm join nice and tidy with no holes. That means I have nothing to do in this area when the knitting is complete except weave in a couple of yarn ends. Good news!

Before we're done with this installment, I want to address some possible confusion in the pattern.

 When you arrive at the sleeve shaping you are told to "Work the dec to leave one knit stitch on each side of the marker by working ssk, k1 before the marker and k1, k2tog after the marker." If you are used to working your decreases at the beginning and end of one round, this instruction sounds funny. However, here's the sense of it. I always work my sleeve decreases by starting with the "ssk, k1" at the end of the previous round and the "k1, k2tog" immediately after it. In other words, if the pattern tells me to decrease every sixth round, I work ssk, k1 at the end of the fifth round and k1, k2tog at the first of the sixth round, but only on the first decrease. Afterward each decrease is worked every sixth round (or fourth round, etc.--you get the gist). I find that the decreases lie more in line with one another if worked this way. Lets have a look.

The lower orange marker in the picture above shows the decreases worked closer to one another. If you look to either side of the marker, which lies between the two decrease stitches, you can see the ssk to the right and the k2tog to the left. The ones at the upper orange marker show the difference it makes when you work the "k1, k2tog" decrease at the first of a round and the "ssk, k1" decrease at the end of that same round. The ssk sits higher on the right of the marker than does the k2tog below it on the left. This is why I like working the ssk at the end of the previous round instead of at the end of the same round as the k2tog.

I so hope that these little details will help you with your cardigan project!
I'll be back in part four with some insights about working your button bands and collar. 

Se ya soon!

Note: Bulky sweater is knit using Cascade Eco Wool, color #9008 and the finer gauge one is knit with Schaefer Nichole in the Julia Child colorway.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Knitting the Top-Down Raglan Cardigan, Part Two

Welcome back!
This post deals only with separating the sleeves from the body as you knit a top-down raglan cardigan, like the Figheadh Fundamentals Top-Down Women's Cardigan, which is the pattern I am working from. I decided to change my yarn to some marled Cascade Eco Wool from my stash. I have plenty of it and I want to work this cardigan with a bit more length in the body. I can do that because knitting top-down allows you to change the lengths of the body and the sleeves as you like. Bingo!

In the picture above you can see that I have completed the upper body of my cardigan. Boy, it went super fast, too! I am getting three stitches to the inch on size 11 (8 mm) needles, which makes the project fly!

At this point, I am ready to place the sleeves on scrap yarn while I finish up the body first. The pattern is very clear on how to do this, but let's add some visuals.

Above, you can see that I have knit across the left front section to the first marker.

Then, as you see above, I removed the marker and slipped all my left sleeve stitches (the ones between the first and second markers) onto some cotton yarn to make it easier for me to slip them back off and onto a needle later. I always tie a little bow in the ends of the scrap yarn to keep the stitches from wandering off while I'm not looking. I do not like using stitch holders, especially for this. They are too rigid and do not allow the fabric to be manipulated as easily. When you are knitting a big piece like this, you want everything to smoosh. 

The above picture shows that I have removed the second marker, cast on my three stitches (yes, not many, but remember this gauge is loose!), and am continuing to knit across the back stitches. When I reach the third marker, I will do for the right sleeve what I did for the left sleeve.

And here we have both sleeves resting on nice, contrasting cotton yarn, all bowed and secure. Only the body stitches remain on the circular needle and now I can knit, knit, knit for a while. I think I'll finish up that marathon of Season 5 of Vera now. I do love a good British mystery!

Thanks for reading. I will be back with some insights on knitting the sleeves of this cardigan very soon!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Knitting the Top-Down Raglan Cardigan, Part One

I recently released a new edit of all the Figheadh Fundamental Top-Down Cardigans, because after being contacted a couple of times about the fact that the very first right-side row of the sweater didn't have enough stitches to actually do what the pattern asked, I wanted to fix that. I also got all perfectionist on the thing and made the increases at the right front edge match the ones at the left front edge. That one was bugging only me, I think. Unless it was bugging you, too, then let me know!

I have also been contacted by a couple of new knitters attempting the cardigan who were confused about how to begin. I would imagine that if this were your first top-down raglan sweater, some things might be confusing. Let's clear this up a little.

In the pattern, I ask the knitter to cast on stitches first and then work the increases and place the markers in the first real row. There are a couple of other ways to do this.

I am knitting the size 36 in the 3-stitch gauge (meaning that I am working with bulky yarn). For this size, I am instructed to cast on 30 stitches. I can see from the way the markers are placed in the Set-up row that I have 2 stitches before the first marker, 5 stitches between the first and second markers, 16 stitches between the second and third markers, 5 stitches between the third and fourth markers, and 2 stitches after the fourth and final marker. Knowing that, I can place temporary markers at those positions before I begin my increases (shown above) just to keep things really straight. Then I can replace the temporary markers with ring markers as I work increases in the Set-up row.

Another method is to place the ring markers in their places as I cast on the stitches, as shown above.

The photo above shows the stitches after the first increase, the Set-up row. Now there are 3 stitches, first marker, 7 stitches, second marker, 18 stitches, third marker, 7 stitches, fourth marker, and finally 3 stitches for a total of 38 stitches. Eight stitches are increased in the row when only raglan increases are worked. 

The raglan increases are the ones worked along the lines between body and sleeves and are indicated by the four stitch markers. Since we are starting our sweater at the neckline, that means that the stitches before the first marker form the left front section, the stitches between the first and second marker form the left sleeve, the stitches between the second and third form the back section, the stitches between the third and fourth marker form the right sleeve, and the stitches after the fourth marker form the right front section of the sweater.

The raglan increases are just one set of increases needed in the sweater. Different increases are needed at the front edges where the collar and then button bands will be. The way that you work these increases determine the shape of the neckline. Most of the Fundamental Cardigan patterns have options to work a crew neck or a V neck with different increase sequences for each type of neckline; however, the men's version has only the V-neck option. In the crew neck shaping, only a few sets of increases are worked at the neckline every right-side row until the piece has 3.5 to 4.25 inches of depth (depending on size) and then the front is worked from there with no more shaping. In the V-neck shaping there are more increases worked at a less frequent rate, but they are worked along the entire depth of the armhole. From there, the front edges are worked with no shaping, as with the crew neck option.

The photo above shows the right front neck edge after increases have been worked in the first right-side row after the Set-up row (which is what I just added to the new pattern edit). You must work two kf&b increases (knit into the front and back of the same stitch) one after another just in this row because there are too few stitches to work them otherwise. This increases this section from 3 stitches to 5 stitches.

Above shows the left front neck edge, which looks a little different, but has also increased from 3 stitches to 5 stitches.

Here is the whole shebang after working a couple more right-side-row increases. Now it's starting to look like something. We now have 9 stitches before the first marker and 9 stitches after the fourth marker and we can work the neck edge increases as they should be worked--a couple of stitches away from the edge. That way, when it comes time to pick up stitches for the button bands, the little "purl bumps" made by the kf&b increases are positioned away from the edge, making it easier to pick up into those edge stitches later.

At this point we can also see the raglan line begin to emerge. See those two knit stitches lying side-by-side at the marker placement in the above photo? That's the good old raglan line. It will be even more distinct after washing and blocking your sweater. In the above photo you can also see the neckline starting to take shape.

As I am working another of these sweaters to formulate these pictorials, I can see some little tweaks that will make the pattern better and so (sigh) there will be a need for a fourth version. Until that is ready, be assured that there are no found errors. The current version will certainly guide you just fine.

I hope this post sheds some light on how to get started on your top-down raglan sweater. I'll be back in the next post with help for the next part of your sweater--separating the sleeves from the body.  

Happy Cardigan Knitting!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Merripog & Friends!

I call this the Grellow Group. They use a grellow combo made up of dark, smoky grey and vibrant yellow. The lovely colors, Montauk Monster and Oleander Nymph, are a credit to the very-much-missed Cephalopod Yarns. This is their much-loved Skinny Bugga! (exclamation theirs...well, mine, too!) which you can now grab from The Verdant Gryphon. It looks like their Straw Into Gold and Charcoal Sketch would be similar color ways.

Here's how the Grellow Group came together.

Back in 2012 when I finished the Figheadh Merripog Socks (above on the left), I had a lot of yarn left over. Pretty quickly, I cast on some simple, stripey socks with the same two yarns. The construction of the second pair was the same as the Merripogs--afterthought heel and minimal 2/2 ribbed cuff--but this time I worked toe-up. 

I say I cast on that second pair pretty quickly, but I did not finish quickly at all. I got about two inches up on the first sock and away it went into a project bag to languish until a couple of months ago. Spurred on by my recent Scrappy Sock adventures and having found it among my WIPs, I became determined to finish. 

Then as soon as I finished the stripey socks, I weighed the leftover leftovers and found that I had enough for a third pair! Yea! I cast on quickly (again), but this time I stuck to the task and finished the third pair in just a couple of weeks. As you can see, they have grey toes, heels, and ribbing like the second pair, and they are toe-up as well. However, instead of an afterthought heel, they have the Fish Lips Kiss heel. (I am currently smitten with it and now have it memorized) and they stay yellow on the foot and leg. I wanted to see that yellow on its own for a good bit. It does shift hues ever so nicely.

Now even after three pairs, I have about 63 yards total remaining, with more of it being grey. What shall I do with it? Make some tiny, stuffed bumble bees? Make some tiny bee-striped socks for ornaments? Add them both to my sock yarn scrap bin? We'll see. What I do know is that the sock knitting is back with a vengeance, especially scrappy sock knitting!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Scrappy Sock Knitting

In trying to clean up my yarn stash over the past few months, I have been reminded of all the partial skeins of sock yarn I have in there. Oh, mercy! I used to be more of a sock knitter, but in recent years I let that slide a bit. A couple of years ago I separated some of the sock yarn leftovers into like colors to maybe make something with them. I am formulating a post with a list of great scrap sock yarn projects, some I have done myself and some I'd like to do. While I'm formulating that post, I'd like to show you what I recently completed with one of the groups.
I had these six partial skeins grouped because I just love the browns, creams, roses and rusts together. All of these were used in various Figheadh pattern samples and there was enough left over to really accomplish quite a project. When I started to work with these, I just thought I would make a couple of pairs of toe-up socks. But once I was done with the second pair, I realized there was enough for a third! 

The first pair (seen above on top of the pile) was made with all six yarns. Once I knitted the toe in one color, I began ten-round stripes with the rest, returning to the toe color for the heel, mirroring the same sequence on the leg as on the foot, and then finishing the cuff ribbing with the same yarn as the toe and heel. 

On the second pair (seen above under the first pair), I used one yarn for the toe, the heel, and the cuff ribbing while alternating two of the other colors in three-round stripes on the foot and leg. 

In the picture above, you can see the partial third pair on the needles. It was worked almost totally with just two of the six colors in two-round stripes. I say almost, because I ran out of the brown on the last of its stripes and had to use another of the browns for one half round! You can't even tell.

Here are the finished four pairs of socks made with the six partial skeins--yes, four! After that third pair, I weighed the remaining yarn and determined that if I was careful, I could squeeze out another pair. The fourth pair was by far the trickiest, and I should have made them two-at-a-time the official way. Instead I made them wacky two-at-a-time. That is to say that I knit to a certain point on the first one, then knit to that point on the second one on a separate set of circulars that said they were the same size (liars) and back and forth like that to the end. Yeah, they are not the same size. But that's okay! 

That fourth pair was knit with one color on the toe with a color band in color number two before working one-round stripes with colors three and four. Then color five made the heels, and the same little band with color two appeared just before the cuff ribbing, which was knit with color number six! You can see how much yarn was left when all this was done above the four pairs in the picture above. 

Here's a shot of the four pairs of socks together with (almost) all the Figheadh samples made before those. Bear with me--lots of info!

Clockwise from noon, you see the Beechbone Gauntlets in MacKintosh Iona Fingering in Safari; then socks #4 made with all six; then another pair of Beechbone made with Sanguine Gryphon Eidos in Panchea; then socks #2 made with Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Alexandra, and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6; then socks #1 made with all six; then the Ironwork Mitts knit with Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock in Ivory and Spirit Trail Fiberworks Alexandra in Honeyed Plums; then socks #3 made with the Mackintosh and the Sanguine Gryphon; and in the middle is one sock made for the Fundamental Toe-Up Socks pattern that was knit with Plymouth Happy Feet in color #3. The sixth yarn was Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Orchid, which you can see as the lighter stripe on socks #2. I can't show you the Figheadh project it was used in, because it's still in progress (aka secret).

Note: Many of these yarns are no longer available, but please go and see the new yarns offered by these lovely companies!

This was such a fun project! I posted the progress on Instagram and when I asked for a vote, they chose socks #2 as their favorite out of 45 votes. 

How about you? Which is your favorite? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Courtly Cowl

When I designed the Astoria Wrap for the Knotty Knitters Calendar, I was so smitten with the cable and lace stitch pattern combo paired with a pointy garter stitch edging that I had to take it further...
...and make it a cowl as well!
Malabrigo Worsted in Tuareg
The cowl begins with the garter stitch edging and then morphs into the cable and lace pattern. I mirrored the edging on the bind-off edge and after a bit of tweaking got it to work.
Then I pushed it a little more and made it a bigger cowl that double-wraps around your neck and drapes its pointy edging all over the place. And that's how I made my favorite cowl of all time. Seriously. I love this thing. The blue small one and the brown big one are both made with Malabrigo Worsted, one of my all-time favorite yarns. You can see why I love this cowl, what with all the favorites going on here. 

Malabrigo Worsted in Roanoke
At first I just made the cowl as a fun project for myself, not planning on ever publishing it. But every time I wore it, I got the nicest compliments, so I took the hint.

Now it's a real, live pattern all its own! It's called the Courtly Cowl, because it looks kind of court jester to me, but also kind of queenly. 

Look at how many ways there are to wear the smaller version:

Neat, tidy, and queenly with just the lower edge showing...

...or pointy edging peeking a little at the top and bottom...

...or all-out crazy and jesterly!

This blue one is the deep version. Meaning there are two versions of each cowl advised in the pattern. You can make the small in a short version (shown below), the small in the tall version, and the large cowl in either short or tall--you decide.
Malabrigo Worsted in Water Green
If you'd like to try the Courtly Cowl, head on over to Figheadh and grab one for yourself. Choose your favorite soft and cozy heavy worsted yarn and get to stitching. I hope you'll let me know how you like the project if you do make one.

Thanks for visiting!

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!