A millinery of Becloud hats!

Its been a busy few weeks here at Fyberspates, so we've been taking a break from our yarn of the month posts!  

You might remember, back in February that we ran a KAL for our new Becloud hat pattern in Cumulus, so we thought you'd like to see the gorgeous hats that were made by our lovely prize winners!  

charliesumx's Becloud Hat of many colours

charliesumx's Becloud Hat of many colours

We loved the beautiful gradient effect created by charliesumx using seven different shades of Cumulus (Plum, Moonlight, Teal, Sea Green, Camel, Rust and Ruby Red), a great idea for using up leftovers from your other projects.  

snowywolf's Becloud Hat

snowywolf's Becloud Hat

This sophisticated selection of Teal, Moonlight and Slate was dreamed up by snowywolf and would go with so many things!  

PinkPot's Regal Crown

PinkPot's Regal Crown

PinkPot wowed us with her unexpected but stunning colour choices (Pulm, Rust and Teal) and lovely fraternal Aolani mitts to match!  Such a fun idea and a great way to use up your three colours of yarn :) 

laurafugate's Becloud Hat

laurafugate's Becloud Hat

Last but not least, we loved the way that laurafurgate's colour choices create a much more pronounced marl effect, using Plum, Water and Teal.  

Thank you so much to all out lovely KAL participants for their inspiring knits!  

Happy Knitting!  

Gorgeous new pattern alert! Essie by Ella Austin

We’ve got a fun new bit of news for you today, Kay and Ann from Mason Dixon Knitting are running a giveaway on their blog to win the yarn to make this gorgeous sweater, Essie by Ella Austin, knitted in Scrumptious 4ply.  

We're big fans of Ella's distinctive style and quirky colour work and this sweater is no exception.  Knitted top down in the round to keep finishing to a minimum and with a boxy, easy to wear shape the clean lines are pepped up with the addition of little contrasting popcorn stitches around the neck.  

Essie is part of Ella's new Colour and Line Collection, which is full of inspiring and fun to knit designs.  

We love this cute summer sweater, so if you feel the same you can check out the pattern here and enter the giveaway on the Mason Dixon Knitting site here.

Don't delay, the giveaway runs until Saturday 4th June at 11pm Eastern time (EST)

Good luck :)

Pattern Week: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply

It's the last Friday of the month and that means it's time for a pattern!  

This month we decided to choose the gorgeous Dollis Shawl by Anniken Allis, which you might remember from our second Scrumptious book: 

Dollis by Anniken Allis In Scrumptious 4ply Teal and Oyster

Dollis by Anniken Allis In Scrumptious 4ply Teal and Oyster

We love Anniken's shawl designs and this crescent shawl is a fun combination of eye catching beads (addded with a crochet hook, but you could leave them out if you wanted to), beautiful lace and relaxing garter stitch short rows, ending with a knitted on lace edging which is really fun to work.  

You'd need two skeins of the main colour (shown here in Oyster) and one skein of the contrast (shown here in Teal), or if you wanted to make the shawl in one colour you'd only need two skeins.  

Previously only available as part of The Scrumptious Collection Volume Two, we've decided to make it available as a stand-alone Ravelry download and until the end of next month (London time: 23.59 GMT+1 Tuesday 31st May) you can get 30% off this pretty shawl using the code Dollis.  Just click on the picture to go to the Ravelry page!  

Happy Knitting!

Meet Jen Arnall-Culliford and a special Birthday sale!

Tech editor extraordinaire Jen Arnall-Culliford is one of our favourite yarny people and as well as working with us, she also works with amazing designers like Kate Davies and Rachel Coopey!  

Jen turns 40 today and to celebrate, she's offering 40% off any of the gorgeous patterns in her Ravelry store for forty hours until 16.00 London time (BST) tomorrow (Wednesday 27th April 2016)!  You don't need a code, just add the patterns you want to buy to your Ravelry cart and the discount will be applied automatically.  

(All the designs pictured are available to buy in Jen's Ravelry store, just click on the pictures to be taken to the pattern pages.)  

We though it would be nice to get to know Jen a little better, so, Jen, it's over to you.....

Jen wearing her Knotted Kernel Cowl in Scrumptious Aran

Jen wearing her Knotted Kernel Cowl in Scrumptious Aran

40 random facts about me…

1. I have 3 Blue Peter badges (standard, green and silver in case you were interested). This is my favourite random fact about myself.

2. When I was 17 my chosen career path was opera singer.

3. Nic, my colleague and Art Director describes me as “Good with a haddock slap when required.”

4. I have enjoyed a nice glass of (very weak) gin and tonic since I was about 6 - to the horror of my grandmother.

5. I have a cat called Ginge who likes to ambush us in the garden.

6. I ran my own gardening business for 2 years, but my own garden is always more neglected than I would like.

Arncott in Scrumptious 4ply, which made the front cover of our first book, The Scrumptious Collection Volume 1

Arncott in Scrumptious 4ply, which made the front cover of our first book, The Scrumptious Collection Volume 1

7. I love birds!

8. Puffins are my all-time favourite birds, but I’m also a sucker for owls, blue tits, nut hatches and penguins.

9. I studied Chemistry and French at university, and have a doctorate.

10. I love selling things so much that Kate and Tom suggested I could have a successful market stall after I worked with them at Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year.

11. I really don’t like peas.

12. But peas are OK when eaten raw and freshly picked in the garden.

13. I talk about knitting so much that my husband learned enough about knitting to quit teaching and become a technical editor.

Sonning in Scrumptious Lace

Sonning in Scrumptious Lace

14. I once taught at an Anglo-European secondary school, where I sometimes taught Science through the medium of French.

15. If you tickle me for long enough I might have an accident (that factoid is brought to you courtesy of my children!).

16. I love aubergines. Probably too much.

17. I like to stack the plastic kids’ cups in rainbow order.

18. I am a board game geek! My favourite game is Puerto Rico, but my family won’t play with me as I usually win.

19. I constantly change my mind about what I most enjoy knitting. At the moment I’m loving cardigans.

20. I almost always wear at least one hand-knit.

21. I have a shade of yarn named after me (Jen’s Green in the Scrumptious range).

Scrumptious 4ply in Jen's Green - named after Jen!

Scrumptious 4ply in Jen's Green - named after Jen!

22. I will never ever run a marathon. EVER!

23. I played in a gamelan orchestra in London when I was a teenager and we appeared on children’s TV a few times.

24. I snore.

25. I’ve been married to Jim for 15 years and I still pinch myself that he said yes when I proposed.

26. My hair is extremely poorly behaved, and a source of much early-morning amusement to my family.

27. I had a hair disaster the week before my wedding, when the hairdresser topped up the hair dye with bright orange halfway through my appointment.

Tirrold in Scrumptious Lace

Tirrold in Scrumptious Lace

28. My favourite TV show of all time is ER.

29. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A would be my save from the waves track if I were to appear on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

30. I can’t listen to music when I’m pattern editing, but I love to turn up the volume when I am drawing knitting charts.

31. Build a Rocket Boys! and The Seldom Seen Kid both by Elbow were the soundtrack to drawing charts for The Book of Haps.

32. I have a second cat called Ollie, and he likes to keep my knees warm while I knit.

33. Writing the experimental section of my thesis was the perfect training for editing knitting patterns. I constantly see the parallels between science and knitting.

34. I have had to concede that despite my inner view of myself (formed as a very geeky maths/science teenager), I might be creative after all.

35. The knitting design that I’m most proud of was my Redlynch Shawl, but is about to be superseded by my design for The Book of Haps (Kate Davies' upcoming book).

Jen, wearing her favourite design to date, her Redlynch shawl

Jen, wearing her favourite design to date, her Redlynch shawl

36. To date, I’ve designed more with Fyberspates than with any other yarn brand. The saturated colours and beautiful fibres inspire me no end.

37. I hold my RHS General Certificate of Horticulture, and love doing tree identifications with the kids.

38. I’ll forever be grateful to Jeni for supporting my decision to go freelance, and booking me to work on her first pattern book, The Scrumptious Collection volume 1.

39. My favourite knitting slogan is, “that shit will block right out”.

40. I plan to be just as excited about my 94th birthday as I was about my 6th. Birthdays should always be fun.  

Murcott in Scrumptious DK

Murcott in Scrumptious DK

Happy Birthday Jen!  Hope you have a lovely day :)

Project Focus: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply

We had such fun picking out our favourite Scrumptious 4ply projects on Ravelry this week, there were so many gorgeous finished objects to choose from!  

Eventually we managed to narrow it down a little, but we've still got plenty to show you, so let's get started!

As usual, just click on each picture (or any of the links to the patterns used) to see more details of the project on Ravelry.  

We thought we'd start with some beautiful garments like this Vitamine D cardigan made by MorganeD.  She chose to make Vitamin D by Heidi Kirrmaier using shade #304/Water and we think it's a lovely match of yarn and pattern, the silk in Scrumptious gives the cardi drape, which exactly what this pattern needs, perfect for spring.  

Here's another gorgeous knit for spring, we love this pretty lace top by carenw, she chose to knit Talavera by Amanda B Collins in #313/Jen's Green, I love delicate lace patterns like this knitted in vibrant colours!  

This project is more adventurous!  Knitted dresses are a lot of work, but this looks like it was worth all the effort!  This amazing dress was knitted by BlossomingKnits who chose to knit the Principesa Dress by Sarah Wilson with #305/Purple.  The dress also uses Scrumptious Lace for the lace patterned edging (#505/Purple - some of the shades in Scrumptious 4ply are also available in Scrumptious Lace, perfect for projects that need the same shade in two different weights of yarn).  

Now on to some awesome accessories (I think we can allow a bit of alliteration on a Friday?) :D

We're coveting this pretty cowl knitted by wilckepedia!  The contrast in textures between the cables and lace is beautiful against the garter st background.  If you fancy making your own, you might want to take a look at the pattern that wilckepedia used, Change of Heart by Justyna Lorkowska, such a lovely match for #301/Cherry.  

We love this shawl, knitted by knitgirl389 using #311/Flying Saucer and the inventive Turtle's Journey Shawl pattern by Heather Anderson.  The stitch definition on the turtles is perfect and the colour seems somehow appropriate as well!  

Next a completely different style of shawl, I love the strong graphic lines and bold contrasts of Mariasha's Filmstrip, knitted in #301/Cherry and #307/Slate using Suvi Simola's Filmstrip pattern.  

Last but not least, another two colour shawl, 

I love this combination of two muted shades of Scrumptious (#303/Oyster and #304 Water) that LVallentin has chosen for her Isbutik.  So sophisticated and easy to dress up or down (I can just see this shawl worn with jeans or a pretty dress).  If you fancy making your own, the pattern she used is the Glacerie Shawl by Hilary Smith Callis.  (If you take a look at the pattern page there are lots of striping options to choose from too.)  

That's your lot for today!  Hope you've enjoyed looking at the projects we picked out and thank you to these lovely knitters for letting us feature their wonderful projects :)

Happy Knitting!  

Pattern Focus: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply

It's pattern focus week again!  

We've got some lovely Scrumptious 4ply pattern ideas for you this week, including a few with some really intriguing constructions.... so let's get started :)

Our first pick is this stunning shawl, Raindrop by Kyoko Nakayoshi (available at Fyberspates stockists), which uses just one skein of Scrumptious 4ply.  

Raindrop by Kyoko Nakayoshi (image copyright Cotton and Cloud)

Raindrop by Kyoko Nakayoshi (image copyright Cotton and Cloud)

This is such a pretty shawl and I love the construction too, the radiating spokes of double yarn overs and increases, cleverly worked into the lace border make a nice change from more traditional triangular shapes.  

If you're ready to try a more challenging knit, why not have a go at Ann Kingstone's lovely Mallorn sweater

Mallorn by Ann Kingstone (image copyright Verity Britton)

Mallorn by Ann Kingstone (image copyright Verity Britton)

Knitted seamlessly from the top down using Scrumptious 4ply in Gold, this sweater has a really clever construction beginning with an i-cord neck edging from which two sets of stitches are picked up, one in Scrumptious 4ply (shown in Cherry, which is visible behind the lace at the neckline) and the other in Scrumptious Lace (in Gold, to match the rest of the sweater, which is then used for the lace overlay section at the neckline).  This gives a gorgeous effect which really makes the sweater stand out from the crowd, I really love the inventive construction!  

If you want something a little smaller, but still with a clever and unusual construction, why not try Foolproof by Louise Zass-Bangham?  

Foolproof by Louise Zass-Bangham (image copyright Louise Zass-Bangham

Foolproof by Louise Zass-Bangham (image copyright Louise Zass-Bangham

With no cast on or cast off, this cowl uses two contrasting shades of Scrumptious 4ply (shown in Oyster and Dandelion and Burdock) to great effect with a series of bold stripe patterns.  

As we showed you last week, Scrumptious is wonderful for textured patterns as well as lace, so it work perfectly in Amanda Clark's cheerful Summer Blooms Shawl.  

Summer Blooms Shawl by Amanda Clark (image copyright Amanda Clark)

Summer Blooms Shawl by Amanda Clark (image copyright Amanda Clark)

Love those bobble flowers!  Such a great combination of texture and lace!  

If you love larger scale all over lace patterns, then Tintinhull by Jen Arnall-Cullford might be the perfect project for you.  

Tinitinhull by Jen Arnall-Culliford (image copyright Jen Arnall-Culliford)

Tinitinhull by Jen Arnall-Culliford (image copyright Jen Arnall-Culliford)

I love this beautiful and unusual lace pattern, it'd make a lovely stole to wear to a summer wedding or even bundled up round your neck on a cold day as a scarf.  

Last but not least, how about this delicate lace panel cardigan, Arachne by Lien Ngo (available from Fyberspates stockists)?  

Arachne by Lien Ngo (image copyright Lien Ngo)

Arachne by Lien Ngo (image copyright Lien Ngo)

We love the turned hems and the arrangement of lace motifs around the edges and cuffs, which make this cardigan perfect for dressing up or down.  The original was knitted in a one-off hand dyed shade of Scrumptious 4ply, but we think it would be perfect in a go-with-everything shade like Denim, or for a gorgeous pop of bright colour, Azure.  

Hope this has given you some inspiration!  

Happy Knitting!  

 

 

 

Yarn Focus: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply

It's April and that means it's time for our new yarn of the month, Scrumptious 4ply!  

...... And that means new swatches :) 

We covered lots of different types of stitches this time and the yarn handled them all really well.  But first of all we thought we'd start with a bit of crochet: 

I love a little crochet motif square (this one is a design in progress, so watch this space) so I fiddled around with a few trebles and clusters and came up with this: 

Scrumptious is lovely and soft to crochet with and makes really lovely clusters (from my other swatches I think it would make great bobbles too).  The thing I find most annoying when crocheting is splitty yarn, but this didn't cause me any problems.  

I used a 3mm hook for this square, but I think a smaller size such as 2.5mm would work well if you wanted a firmer fabric.  I don't think you'd get such a nice effect with a larger hook though, so I'd be inclined to use a 3mm or smaller, depending on how tightly you tend to work (tension is such a personal thing).  I used soft pastels (Baby Pink and Natural for this swatch) for all the swatches here, but there are some gorgeous bright jewel tones and rich darker shades which would look amazing too (Azure and Dandelion and Burdock would really pop in a square like this).  

Next on to some simple lace: 

This swatch (knitted in Flying saucer on 3.25mm needles) is knitted in an easy cloverleaf eyelet pattern and has a lovely drape, which would be perfect for a shawl or cowl.  However if I was going to knit a garment, I think I might want a slightly denser fabric (using a smaller needle to get a harder wearing fabric) if I was intending to wear the sweater a lot.  But the stocking stitch fabric in between the eyelets is neat and consistent with a small amount of elasticity.  

Now on to some more complex patterns..... 

This little swatch is probably my favourite: 

This stitch is from one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries, although worked the undulating columns of knit stitches through the back of the loop because I wanted to show how amazing Scrumptious 4ply is when worked in twisted stitches.  I used Glisten with a 2.75mm needle for this swatch as I wanted a really nice crisp result (twisted stitches tend to work best when worked to a firmer tension).  I love the stitch definition of this swatch, it's so clear and crisp!  The sheen of the silk in Scrumptious helps the textures stand out too (look at those little bobbles)!  

Now for a fun combination of cables and lace: 

This stitch pattern is really unusual (it's from another of my Japanese stitch dictionaries) combining lace and cables and showing off two of the best properties of the yarn, beautiful stitch definition and the shine from the silk, making cables which really pop and lace which blocks out beautifully.  I knitted this swatch in Baby Pink using a 3.25mm needle, you could use a slightly smaller needle, but not too much as the cabled sections in a stitch pattern like this are quite dense.  These textures are pretty bold, so probably best kept to accessories or an accent of a garment, but in the right piece it would be amazing!    

Next, we thought we'd show you Rachel Coopey's Divelish mittens from Scrumptious Collection Volume 3

These mittens are knitted using Slate and Natural on 2.5mm needles which gives a lovely even, stable fabric, despite the silk content of the yarn which could cause some looser stitches if a smaller needle was used, as it doesn't stick to itself in the way a 100% wool yarn would.  The key to this is using a smaller needle, creating denser fabric and holding the yarns firmly in place.  The other advantage of this is that it creates a lovely cosy fabric that keeps out even the coldest drafts!  

Last but not least, I knitted up a swatch using Scrumptious 4ply and Cumulus held together (here it is next to the simple lace swatch so you can see the difference in tension): 

This knits up to a double knit tension (22 sts to 10cm) on a 4mm needle... oh the possibilities!  (Time to start plotting now :)

We hope this has given you some inspiration for using Scrumptious!  

For those who want to know, here are all the yarn details: 


Yarn information

Content: 45% Silk, 55% Merino Wool

Recommended needle size: 2.5 - 3.25mm (US 1.5 - 3)

Tension (gauge): 28 - 24.5 sts and 37 rows to 10cm (4") over stocking stitch

Number of metres per skein: 365 metres (399 yards) per 100g skein

Washing instructions: Machine wash at 30°C on wool cycle

 

Happy Easter! Yokes for your Yolks

As it's Easter this weekend we thought we'd do a little Easter fun this week!  

A little Yolks knit-a-long!  

Last year, we launched a fun little free pattern on Ravelry for yoked sweaters for eggs called Yokes!  (Surely a pun is one of the best reasons to write a pattern?)  

We had so much fun seeing everyone's little Yolk sweaters for their Easter eggs last year and we'd love to see more of them, so if you fancy making one, we'd love to see your efforts!  

There are of course prizes!  

Our three favourite Yolks sweaters (the more inventive the better) will win a pattern of their choice from the Fyberspates Ravelry store!  All you have to do is knit a little Yolk sweater from the pattern in any yarn (it doesn't have to be Fyberspates, any leftover 4ply yarns will do) and share it with us either on Ravelry in our Yolks knit-along Eggstravaganza thread (more puns, sorry), or Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #fyberspatesyolks and bring a little knitted fun to your Easter preparations!  

We will pick our two favourites on the Thursday 7th April and announce the winners on the blog the following day.  

They're super quick to make and only take a very small amount of 4ply weight yarn, such as Vivacious 4ply. We knitted the ones pictured above in Sea Green and Sunshine, Lavender Haze and Mixed Magentas and Sunshine with Sea Green stripes for a fresh springy look, but you could add more stripes or a little fairisle, or a contrasting yoke and sleeves.........

or make a hoodie (we knitted ours in Mixed Magentas): 

or a cardigan version (we knitted ours in Copper Tones with the French Knot buttons in Mixed Magentas):  

There are instructions for both of these options in the pattern, so why not use them as a starting point for more ideas?  Put bunny ears on the hoodie or embroider tiny spring flowers on the cardigan.  

What are you waiting for?  Those eggs are getting cold!  

Everyone at Fyberspates, Jeni, Andy, Lottie and Chris would like to wish you a very Happy Easter!  

Happy Knitting!  

 

 

Project Focus: Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply

It's been really hard to pick our favourite projects this week as there are so many beautiful projects in Vivacous 4ply to choose from on Ravelry.  

So, after a lot of deliberation, here are just some of our favourites (as usual just click the pictures to see more details on each project)...... 

Vivacious is perfect for garments that you'll want to wear again and again as it's both hardwearing (thanks to it's high twist) and machine washable (thanks to the superwash merino wool), so that's where we'll start!

We adore this beautiful lace cardigan knitted by Helen.  She chose Deep Aqua to knit the Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu which has a fascinating seamless construction, we think it's the perfect combination!  

Next, we have a gorgeous sweater, knitted by Judy..... 

Judy used Justyna Lorkowska's Nogat pattern to knit her lovely cable and lace sweater in Peacock, the stitch definition is fabulous!  

Concluding our selection of sweaters is Louizette's Florence cardigan: , knitted in Spiced Plum

I love this style, it looks so comfy and easy to wear but pretty as well, the kind of cardi you'd wear all the time!  

Fancy making an heirloom project?  What about something like this stunning blanket, Leaves of Grass by amusementcell?   

Knitted in Peacock, this blanket is knitted using the Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi shawl method (where every time you double the number of rows you've knitted, you double the number of stitches).  So while it may look complex, for the majority of the blanket you actually only have a lace pattern to concentrate on, rather than difficult shaping.  

If you prefer smaller projects, fear not!  We found some gorgeous accessories too.  First we have a couple of pairs of socks!  

We love the travelling stitches on littlemissyknit's Socks, they look great in Copper Tones: 

And we love the combination of variegated yarn and a simple knit and purl pattern on iamfiona's Dumbledore's Christmas Tweed socks, knitted in Tweed Imps: 

If you fancy something bright and pretty to keep your neck cosy you could try a project like one of these next two: 

We love knittybaker's p r e c i o u s cowl, knitted in Mixed Magentas, a really lovely accessory that you can wear long like this, or wrapped twice round your neck for extra warmth.  

Last but not least, a pop of bright colour in a simple relaxing project: 

We love laceloveslinda's Rae a Drop of Golden Sunshine scarf, knitted in Sunshine, it's such a happy project (love the sunflowers in the background too! 

Thank you to all these lovely knitters for letting us use their gorgeous project photos!  We hope this has given you some inspiration :)

Happy Knitting!  

 

Pattern Focus: Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply

Last week we showed you what sort of stitches and needle sizes work best in Vivacious 4ply, so this week we thought we'd give you some ideas for patterns that would work really well in this yarn.  

There are so many gorgeous patterns on Ravelry that would work beautifully in Vivacious 4ply that it was hard to narrow them down to just a few, but here are just some of our favourites!  (As usual, just click the pictures to see more details of each pattern.)

Let's start with a sweater with attitude, Åsa Tricosa's Sweatrrr!  

Sweatrrr by Åsa Tricosa (Image Copyright Åsa Tricosa)

Sweatrrr by Åsa Tricosa (Image Copyright Åsa Tricosa)

Åsa has a really distinctive modern style which I love and this jumper is a perfect example of that.  Knitted in Silver and Bronze Vivacious 4ply with a bold, contrasting sleeve insert and little intarsia squares, the colourwork is perfect for using up those part balls of gorgeous yarn that you can't bear to part with.   It only takes 3 - 5 skeins of the main colour so it's a fairly economical sweater too.  Best of all, it's knitted seamlessly using Åsa's Ziggurat top down method, so no sewing up at the end!!  

If cardigans are more your thing, then why not try Carol Feller's Autumn Whispers Cardigan?  

Autumn Whispers by Carol Feller (Image Copyright Carol Feller)

Autumn Whispers by Carol Feller (Image Copyright Carol Feller)

Another top down design, this lovely little cardi (shown here in Copper Tones) is knitted using a different but equally intriguing seamless technique, the contiguous method (which you can learn more about in the Contiguous group on Ravelry here).  

Carol has provided instructions for knitting short or three quarter length sleeves as well, so you can make whichever you prefer.  It doesn't take much yarn either, between 2 and 4 skeins for the short sleeved version and from 3 - 5 skeins for the 3/4 sleeve version.  I'm really tempted to make one of these for spring, it'd be perfect to throw on over a dress or jeans and  a t-shirt!  

We also love this stunning colour block sweater, Stay the Same by Veera Välimäki

Stay the Same by Veera Välimäki (Image copyright Jonna Jolkin/Veera Välimäki)

Stay the Same by Veera Välimäki (Image copyright Jonna Jolkin/Veera Välimäki)

Veera has used Spiced Plum to contrast strongly with pale grey in her gorgeous modern sweater design, which we think is really flattering and easy to wear.  I love the dipped hem worked with short row shaping and the button detail too!  

Fancy a really pretty shawl?  We love this beautiful design; Enchanted Forest by Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes

Enchanted Forest by Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes (Image Copyright Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes)

Enchanted Forest by Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes (Image Copyright Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes)

This crescent shaped shawl is knitted top down using two skeins of Vivacious 4ply (shown in Sea Green) and features botanical themed cable and lace patterns.  Ágnes's designs are really pretty, so her Ravelry page is well worth a look!  

We couldn't do a post on Vivacious 4ply pattern ideas without mentioning some awesome socks!  

Dawlish (shown in Sunshine) and Willowherb (shown in Mixed Magentas) by Rachel Coopey from CoopKnits Socks Volume 1 each use a skein of Vivacious 4ply and use the great stitch deinition that the yarn has in both cables and lace to great effect.  

Another pattern that really shows off Vivacious's stitch definition, is this one, Ironbridge by Louise Zass-Bangham

Ironbridge by Louise Zass-Bangham (Image Copyright Louise Zass-Bangham)

We love the way these twisted stitches and cables look on this, the textures are just gorgeous.  

Last but not least, just for fun, is this little pattern that we did for Easter last year, Yolks!  

You only need a tiny bit of yarn so they're perfect for scraps and leftovers and the pattern is free too, so why not make some to dress up your Easter egg hunt this year?  

You can also see all our single patterns for Vivacious 4ply here and patterns in Vivacious Volume One here.  

Happy Knitting!  

P.S. Don't forget, our Becloud Hat pattern is still free with the code becloudhat until midnight tonight (GMT).  

Yarn Focus: Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply

February went quickly didn't it?  It's March already and time for a new yarn of the month! 

This month it's one of our gorgeous hand dyed yarns, Vivacious 4ply.  

Top row: #600/Spiced Plum, #601/Tweed Imps, #608/Blue Lagoon, #605/Deep Forest 2nd row: #607/Deep Aqua, #606/Sea Green, #604/Sunshine, #602/Copper Tones 3rd row: #603/Silver and Bronze, #609/Peacock 4th row: #612/Dovestone, #611/Mixed Magentas, #610/Lavender Haze, 614/Pebble Beach 5th row: #616/Crocus, #617/Verdegris, #615/Lundy Island, #613/Slate

Top row: #600/Spiced Plum, #601/Tweed Imps, #608/Blue Lagoon, #605/Deep Forest
2nd row: #607/Deep Aqua, #606/Sea Green, #604/Sunshine, #602/Copper Tones
3rd row: #603/Silver and Bronze, #609/Peacock
4th row: #612/Dovestone, #611/Mixed Magentas, #610/Lavender Haze, 614/Pebble Beach
5th row: #616/Crocus, #617/Verdegris, #615/Lundy Island, #613/Slate

Vivacious 4ply is a robust, high twist superwash Merino wool yarn, hand dyed in beautiful, often complex layered colours, carefully designed by Jeni in her studio in Chester, these colours are then faithfully recreated by the dyers in Peru, where the yarn is made.  

We've got brights like Sunshine (a lovely sunny yellow) and Deep Aqua (an intense, saturated turquoise) and our newer more muted shades like Lundy Island (subtle shades of sage and mossy greens and browns) and Pebble Beach (a beautiful combination of blue toned and brown toned greys).  

I guess you want to see how it knits up?  

We tried lots of different types of stitches and they all worked really nicely, Vivacious really is a great all rounder!  

First, we tried some crochet swatches: 

Swatches crocheted in #617/Verdegris and #605/Deep Forest

Swatches crocheted in #617/Verdegris and #605/Deep Forest

Sometimes we get asked how Vivacious 4ply crochets up and these swatches provide the answer; beautifully!  The fabric is wonderfully smooth and even with good stitch definition and as Vivacious 4ply is a high twist yarn it isn't splitty, so it's perfect nice to work with too.  It would be perfect for a crocheted throw or blanket as being machine washable it's easy to care for.  

Next, we tried some colourwork: 

Fairisle swatch knitted in #605/Forest Green and undyed yarn, textured swatch knitted in #606/Sea Green and #610/Lavender Haze, both knitted on 3.25mm needles

Fairisle swatch knitted in #605/Forest Green and undyed yarn, textured swatch knitted in #606/Sea Green and #610/Lavender Haze, both knitted on 3.25mm needles

As you can see in the top swatch, this yarn works perfectly in stranded colourwork/Fairisle.  The yarn stichs to itself enough to help you keep an even tension and the finished fabric is smooth and blocks out nicely.  

Both these swatches were knitted on 3.25mm needles which would give a nice fabric for a garment, but for fairisle items that will see a lot of intense wear such as socks or mittens I'd be inclined to use a smaller needle to help keep the fabric looking good for longer.  

The second swatch is knitted in a pattern that uses a combination of slipped stitches and elongated stitches to create a dense fabric that resembles large polka dots.  Fabrics like this can have a tendency to look uneven in more slippery yarns, as the elongated stitches can distort the stitches next to them, but this isn't a problem with a Merino wool yarn like Vivacious.  

Cabled and twisted stitch swatch knitted in #608/Blue Lagoon, knitted on 2.5mm needles

Cabled and twisted stitch swatch knitted in #608/Blue Lagoon, knitted on 2.5mm needles

Our next swatch really shows off the amazing stitch definition of this yarn.  I worked some twisted stitches (knitted through the back of the loop) along with some smocked stitches (at the edge) and some cabled stitches (in the centre).  Cables pop most when worked in a denser fabric, so I used 2.5mm needles as you might use for socks of mittens (high twist yarns like Vivacious are more hardwearing than those with a looser twist, so are perfect for things like this).  The surface texture these provide are really eyecatching and the fabric has a good memory as well (it springs back into shape when you stretch it out).  

Last but not least, lace:  

Lace swatch knitted in #603/Silver and Bronze, knitted on 3.25mm needles

Lace swatch knitted in #603/Silver and Bronze, knitted on 3.25mm needles

This swatch makes a nice fabric with good drape once blocked (I wet blocked this swatch) which would work well for a cute little cardi, or a cowl, or perhaps the yoke on a sweater.  I used 3.25mm needles, but you could go slightly larger if you wanted.  I'd recommend not using a much larger needle than this though as high twist yarns tend to look better at a tighter gauge.  

Of course whatever you knit in Vivacious, your finished knits will be really easy to care for as you can wash them at 40 degrees C in the machine!  Hooray!  

I hope this has given you lots of ideas!  

Here's all the detailed yarn information: 


Yarn information

Content: 100% Merino Wool

Recommended needle size: 2.5mm - 3.5mm (US 1.5 - 4)

Tension/gauge: 26 - 36 sts and 36 - 50 rows to 10cm (4") over stocking stitch

Number of metres per skein: 365 metres (399 yards) per 100g skein

Washing instructions: Machine wash at 40°C on wool cycle

Pattern week: Fyberspates Cumulus

It's the last Friday of the month and that means a new pattern for Cumulus!  

Introducing the Becloud Hat by Charlotte Walford: 

Becloud Hat by Charlotte Walford

Knitted with two or three colours of Fyberspates Cumulus the hat uses two strands held together to create an ombre effect.  We used #905/Moonlight and #906/Turquoise in the two colour version (shown above) and #907/Magenta, #908/Plum and #913/Slate in the three colour version (shown below).  

Becloud Hat three colour by Charlotte Walford

We love the gradient effect achieved with the three colour version and using Cumulus doubled makes the most gorgeous soft, warm fabric, while remaining really lightweight.  Cumulus also makes awesome pompoms and we couldn't resist adding one to the top of these hats.  You only need a ball of each colour to make a hat and it's the perfect chance to experiment with colour!  

So it's giveaway time!  

Our giveaway last month was won by Isabel Alexander who commented: 

I would knit my beautiful newborn son a little cardigan in Kunzite because it would complement his amazing big blue eyes. I don't get much knitting time at the moment as he keeps me very busy and it's really precious to me to carve out those little moments to make him tiny handknits 😊

The prize is winging its way to her!  

This month our giveaway is a bit different.... it's a knit-along!

As this is such a quick and simple pattern to knit we thought it would be really fun to do a KAL and see what you come up with!  

So here's how it will work: 

You can download the hat for free on Ravelry until Friday 11th March, just visit the Ravelry page here, add the pattern to the cart and type (or copy and paste) the code becloudhat into the coupon code box.  

To join the KAL and have a chance to win a prize, visit our Ravelry group.  

We'll have a chat thread where you can post about your progress and get help with any questions you might have and advice on colour choices.  

There will also be an FO (finished object) thread where you can post a picture of your finished hat (or hats).  Each finished Becloud Hat knitted in Fyberspates Cumulus and posted in this thread before the end of March (Thursday 31st March 2016) will be entered into our prize draw for a chance to win one of our fab prizes.  

So here's what you can win!   

One knitter will win one of our fab new Dandelion Clocks Shawl kits in Cumulus, designed by Charlotte Walford of Lottieknits.  The kit contains three balls of Cumulus and the pattern, all in a cute printed canvas bag.  

Dandelion Clocks Shawl Kit

Two knitters will each win an exclusive printed project bag.  

.... and Lottie will choose her two favourite hats and the knitters of those hats will win a pattern of their choice from the Lottieknits Ravelry store.  

To help you pick your colour scheme, here's the full range of Cumulus colours:  

For inspiration, check out our previous yarn of the month posts:

Yarn Focus: Fyberspates Cumulus

Pattern Focus: Fyberspates Cumulus

Project Focus: Fyberspates Cumulus

You can find stockists of Cumulus here

Good luck!  See you for the KAL!  

Project Focus: Fyberspates Cumulus

It's the third post of February and that means it's time to take a look at our favourite projects from Ravelry knitted in Fyberspates Cumulus!  

Let's start with some cosy cowls, perfect for snuggling up in on a cold winter day.  

Narapoia's Resonate Cowl

Narapoia's Resonate Cowl

Narapoia and vpurl have both knitted Resonate by Louise Zass-Bangham, from her book Knit Play Colour but their two versions are very different (I love seeing projects like this that really show how you can take a pattern and make it your own and a small project like a cowl is a perfect opportunity to experiment).  

Narapoia's version (above) is knitted in #913/Slate and #902/Rust and we love the way the thin stripes of Rust really pop in this colour combination!  

vpurl's version (below) is no less beautiful, but uses a colour combination closer to the original pattern, but in different proportions.  She's used #905/Moonlight, #907/Magenta, 903/Bottle Green and #906/Turquoise.  I love the bold flash of Turquoise!  

vpurl's Resonate

vpurl's Resonate

Next we have a gorgeous wrap by DraadjesenZo, Old Vine

DraadjesenZo's Old Vine

DraadjesenZo's Old Vine

I love the way this drapes and #903/Bottle green is the perfect colour for a botanical themed wrap!  DraadjesenZo is also has a yarn shop, Wolwinkel Draadjes & Zo in the Netherlands and is one of our lovely stockists.  

Another knit made by one of our stockists (Wereldwol, also in the Netherlands) is this stunning shawl, Dew drop by breimiek

breimiek's Dew drop

breimiek's Dew drop

Knitted in #911/Silver, this shawl really shows off the beautiful drape and ethereal quality that Cumulus has, especially when used in lace patterns and blocked well.  

The next project shows something we mentioned in our last post, how well Cumulus works when used with other yarns.  And what more beautiful example of that than dawn's Ocean Breeze shawl: 

dawn's Ocean Breeze

dawn's Ocean Breeze

Using Cumulus in #900/Pillar box (I adore bright lace!) with a hand dyed silk blend yarn is so effective and the contrast of textures gives a very pretty effect.  The shiny beads look beautiful against the fluffy soft Cumulus too!  

Last but not least is this delicate shawl, the brilliantly named Flufforama by WelshSteph!  

Knitted from Anniken Allis's Twiss Crescent Shawl pattern in #909/Water, this delicate shawl could take you anywhere!  Steph said: 'It was like knitting kittens if that’s possible!' Thanks Steph!  

We hope you've enjoyed looking at these beautiful projects!  Thank you to all these lovely knittes for letting us use their photos.  

If you've knitted something in one of our yarns we'd love to see!  Show us your knits on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Ravelry!    

Happy Knitting!  

Pattern Focus: Fyberspates Cumulus

It's the second week for a our current yarn of the month, Cumulus.  So that must mean patterns!  

(As usual, if you want to see any more details about the patterns, just click on the picture.)  

One of the best things about Cumulus is how versatile it is.  Thanks to the fuzzy texture of the yarn it adapts well to a wide range of different needle sizes, depending on the look you're after and what you want to use the finished fabric for.  

Our first pattern recommendation is one that showcases how well Cumulus works on larger needles.  

This absolutely gorgeous shawl by Susanna IC on Ravelry, is also called Cumulus!  You'd only need 3 balls of Cumulus (shown in #910/Sea Green) to make this delicate shawl and it would make a lovely extra layer over a pretty dress on a summer evening or worn like a scarf in the winter.  

Cumulus by Susanna IC

Cumulus by Susanna IC

We absolutely love the way the beads are added to the lace pattern, helping the fabric to drape nicely.  

If you prefer a larger, less lacy shawl, why not try Affinity by Louise Zass-Bangham?  If you read our post last week, you'll know how well Cumulus works when combined with other yarns, and this shawl showcases that, using Cumulus with Scrumptious 4ply (both shown in Water) to highlight the contrasting textures.  

Affinity by Louise Zass-Bangham

Affinity by Louise Zass-Bangham

Again, this example uses beads (applied with a crochet hook), but it would still be lovely without them too.  You'd need 3 balls of Cumulus and a skein of Scrumptious 4ply to make this shawl, and there are plenty of similar colours to the Cumulus range in Scrumptious 4ply.  Why not try some of the combinations below?  

Fancy a sweater instead?  Why not try Mithral by Carol Feller?  

Mithral by Carol Feller

Mithral by Carol Feller

Knitted on 4mm needles to give a drapey fabric, Mithral combines a simple lace pattern with a ridge pattern for a sophisticated yet easy to wear sweater that will work up surprisingly quickly.  There's plenty of guidance in the pattern for altering it, so you can make the sweater you want.  I really need to finish mine!  It's the perfect light weight sweater for layering, I love how floaty the fabric is, while still being warm.  It works really well in bolder colours too, the sweater shown above is knitted in #913/Slate, but I'm making mine in #907/Magenta.  Cumulus is very economical for sweaters too, this one takes just 7 - 10 skeins (or 6 - 9 skeins without a cowl neck) and is sized for nine sizes from 32 - 56 inch bust.  

If you'd like a closer fitting sweater, how about Modra by Vladimira Ilkovicova?  

Modra Pullover by Vladimira Ilkovicova

Modra Pullover by Vladimira Ilkovicova

Knitted on smaller needles than Mithral (3.0mm and 3.5mm) to give a firmer fabric, Modra would be perfect to wear over a crisp white shirt or a camisole, and looks just as good worn with jeans as it would with a dress or skirt.  The sample pictured is knitted in #904/Teal, but if that's not your colour, we think it would look stunning in #912/Camel or #911/Silver.  Another economical sweater, it takes just 5 - 9 balls.  

Last but not least, we love Cumulus for big cosy shawls, like this one, Etherow by Anniken Allis!  

Etherow by Anniken Allis

Etherow by Anniken Allis

7 balls of Cumulus (shown in #908/Plum) make this lovely big shawl, perfect for bundling up in on a cold day or slipping over your shoulders on a cool summer's evening.  

Which pattern would you make?  

Happy Knitting!  

 

Yarn Focus: Fyberspates Cumulus

It's the first Friday of the month, so it's time to unveil our new Yarn of the Month!  

For February, we're going to focus on the fluffy cloud of gorgeousness that is Cumulus!  

Top row: #910/Sea Green, #909/Water, #911/Silver, #912/Camel 2nd row: #903/Bottle Green, #902/Rust 3rd row: #904/Teal, 913/Slate, #908/Plum, #900/Pillar Box Bottom row: #906/Turquoise, #905/Moonlight, #907/Magenta, #901/Ruby Red

Top row: #910/Sea Green, #909/Water, #911/Silver, #912/Camel
2nd row: #903/Bottle Green, #902/Rust
3rd row: #904/Teal, 913/Slate, #908/Plum, #900/Pillar Box
Bottom row: #906/Turquoise, #905/Moonlight, #907/Magenta, #901/Ruby Red

Cumulus is quite a different yarn from the others in the Fyberspates range, with a delicate ethereal quality. 

This beautifully soft fluffy yarn is made from lovely snuggly Baby Suri Alpaca with a strong and shiny core of silk.  

The thing I like most about this yarn is how surprisingly versatile it is.  It adapts well to different needle sizes for different effects (depending on whether you want a dense or airy fabric) and the colour palette provides plenty of opportunities for experimentation!  

So on to the swatches!  (My favourite bit!!)

Yarn butterflies shown in (left to right): #902/Rust, #904/Teal, #913/Slate and #911/Silver Swatches shown in: #902/Rust and #913/Slate

Yarn butterflies shown in (left to right): #902/Rust, #904/Teal, #913/Slate and #911/Silver
Swatches shown in: #902/Rust and #913/Slate

I thought I'd start with the most obvious use for Cumulus: lace.  

I love knitting lace, there are so many possibilities!  These swatches were knitted on a 4mm needle which would work well for quite a lot of purposes.  The grey swatch is actually my tension square for Carol Feller's Mithral KAL and this fabric is wonderful for a flattering drapey sweater like Carol's.  The finished fabric does change once washed and blocked, so don't be tempted to skip this step when checking your tension.  I only blocked this lightly (I didn't really stretch the swatch like I would if I was blocking a shawl, just smoothed it out flat so the edges were straight and then pinned it in place until it was dry), but it did grow quite a bit.  

Speaking of tension (or gauge), every knitter knits slightly differently, resulting in a range of different tensions for different knitters even when all of them are using the same yarn and needles.  Lace weight yarns like Cumulus tend to exaggerate these differences, so I would strongly recommend that you do a tension square before making a garment in this yarn (even if you usually don't) because patterns always state the tension that the designer achieved, and there's no guarantee that yours will be the same.  

Right, enough on tension, on with the fun stuff!  

Shawl shown in #911/Silver, yarn butterflies shown in #902/Rust, #931/Slate, #911/Silver and #904/Teal

Shawl shown in #911/Silver, yarn butterflies shown in #902/Rust, #931/Slate, #911/Silver and #904/Teal

Just a little bit more lace for you, this time using some Estonian gathered stitches to create the fan shaped border of this shawl.  Stitches like this create denser areas within the fabric which is really effective in Cumulus as it gives the effect of darker and lighter areas when viewed from a distance.  Again this was knitted on 4mm needles to create a sheer fabric with a beautiful floaty drape.  The fabric is deceptively warm too, so it's perfect for light and elegant layers that actually warm you up without looking bulky.  

Cabled swatch knitted with one end of Scrumptious 4ply in #318/Glisten (top yarn butterfly) and one end of Cumulus  in #911/Silver (bottom yarn butterfly)

Cabled swatch knitted with one end of Scrumptious 4ply in #318/Glisten (top yarn butterfly) and one end of Cumulus  in #911/Silver (bottom yarn butterfly)

Our next swatches are more experimental, and this is mine and Jeni's absolute favourite of the whole lot.

Combining Cumulus with other yarns opens up so many possibilities (we've done a few swatches, but there are lots more you could try).  

Using one strand of Cumulus in #911/Silver with one strand of Scrumptious 4ply in #318/Glisten makes the most gorgeous fabric ever!!  Seriously, we think this could be the yarn combination  to end all yarn combinations and I want to knit all the things in it.  You still get beautiful stitch definition on 3.25mm and 4mm needles (perfect for cables and textured stitches), but with a delicate halo of alpaca and a very slight marl.  We could spend all day thinking of Cumulus and Scrumptious 4ply pairs, but to start you off, why not try Ruby Red Cumulus and Cherry Scrumptious or Slate in both Cumulus and Scrumptious?  

Gleem-Cumulus-lace-web.jpg

The next two swatches are in Cumulus (#911/Silver) and Gleem Lace (#713/Slate).  The swatch above (knitted on 4mm needles) was knitted with one strand of each yarn to give a lovely heathered effect.  In the one below (knitted on 3.25mm needles) I striped first a strand of each yarn with a single strand of Cumulus and then stripes of both yarns on their own.  Both are effective, but I think alternating stripes of Gleem and Cumulus work best because of the sharp contrast between the textures.  

Last but not least, you could try alternating lace stripes of Cumulus (#911/Silver) and Scrumptious 4ply (#322/Sea Mist).  Knitted on 3.25mm needles, the stripes of Scrumptious give the fabric a bit of extra weight and a swingy drape, which would be perfect for a shawl.  

I hope this has given you some inspiration!  

For those who want to know, here are all the yarn details: 


Yarn information

Content: 74% Baby Suri Alpaca, 26% Silk

Recommended needle size: 3 - 5mm (US 2.5 - 8)

Tension (gauge): 24 sts and 30 rows to 10cm [4in] over stocking stitch on 3mm needles

Number of metres per skein: 150m (164 yards) per 25g ball

Washing instructions: Cool handwash separately


Happy Knitting!  

Pattern week: CoopKnits Socks Yeah!

It's the final Friday for our current yarn of the month, CoopKnits Socks Yeah!  

So to celebrate, we thought we'd launch a new pattern!  

Introducing the Vintage Hexie Blanket by Heike Gittins:

Find the blanket on Ravelry here.

The perfect size for a pram or lap blanket, this pattern is simple to work and would be a great pattern for anyone who has mastered basic crochet stitches such as slip stitch, double crochet and trebles.  

Made up of fun to work hexagons, with a cute daisy centre we think this would look super cute either in a nursery or on your sofa!  

Best of all, the hexagons are crocheted together, so there's no pesky sewing.  Of course, worked up in CoopKnits Socks Yeah! the blanket will be really hard wearing and easy to care for so it's sure to become a favourite.  

We're giving you the chance to download this gorgeous pattern for free until the end of February, just visit the Ravelry page here, add the pattern to the cart and type (or copy and paste) the code sockblanketyeah into the coupon code box.  We've added a blanket planner to the pattern so you can plan your own unique arrangement of squares too.  We'd love to see what you come up with, so please tag us on intstagram, twitter (@fyberspates) and Facebook if you post any photos, or show us your projects in our Ravelry group.  

Last but not least, we have a little giveaway for you!  

For a chance to win a CoopKnits Socks Yeah goodie bag, including a Socks Yeah! project bag, two skeins of Socks Yeah! yarn, a sock needle gauge and a printed Rachel Coopey Sock pattern, enter our giveaway!    

To enter: 

Go to the CoopKnits Socks Yeah page on our website and pick your favourite colour.  

Leave a comment below telling us what it is and what you would knit with it together with your Ravelry name (so we can contact you if you win).  

For inspiration, check out our previous yarn of the month posts: 

Yarn Focus: CoopKnits Socks Yeah!  

Pattern Focus: CoopKnits Socks Yeah!  

Project Focus: CoopKnits Socks Yeah!  

We'll pick our favourite ideas next Friday and then contact the lucky winner!  

Happy knitting and crocheting!  

Project Focus: CoopKnits Socks Yeah!

So, this week we thought we'd show you some of our favourite Ravelry projects made using Socks Yeah!  After a lot of deliberation, we chose these gorgeous knits.....

First, we have a beautiful project from the pattern that we showed you last week, Hulanicki, knitted by Michelle in #105/Danburite: 

We love the beautifully defined architectural stitches on these!  

If you prefer a relaxing project, we think something like Jen's lovely Plain November Socks knitted from Rachel Coopey's Dave plain sock pattern (from CoopKnits Socks Volume Two) would be perfect!  

These socks look great in #106/Kunzite.  We love her photo styling too!  

Next we have Mandy's super cute Alfrick socks, knitted in #105/Danburite and #110/Malachite: 

I'm a big fan of fairisle knitting so I adore these, and I particularly like the way the knit and purl textured pattern echoes the stranded colourwork on the rest of the sock.  

Last but not least we have another lovely pattern from Rachel's CoopKnits Socks Volume Two, Orville (not the duck).  This gorgeous pair were knitted by Gail for her son

We love the cables on these so much!  

Hope you've enjoyed this little look at our favourite projects in Socks Yeah!  If you want to see more projects in this yarn take a look on Ravelry here.  

Happy Knitting!  :)

 

 

 

Pattern Focus: CoopKnits Socks Yeah!

Last week we told you all about the yarn, so this week we though we'd show you some fab patterns that would work beautifully in CoopKnits Socks Yeah! 

(To see any of these patterns in more detail, just click on the picture to be taken to the Ravelry page.)

With our yarn of the month being Socks Yeah! it's only right to start our first pattern focus with a variety of socks!  (For all these sock patterns you'd need two skeins of Socks Yeah to make all but the largest adult sizes.)

....And what better place to start than with one of Rachel's own patterns, Hulanicki from the latest issue of Pompom magazine:

Hulanicki by Rachel Coopey from Pom Pom Magazine issue 15 Winter 2015

Hulanicki by Rachel Coopey from Pom Pom Magazine issue 15 Winter 2015

Designed especially to suit Socks Yeah, Rachel's socks feature columns of single twisted stitches which take advantage of the excellent stitch definition of this yarn. 

Next is another of out favourite new patterns from Rachel, Alfrick:

Alfrick Socks by Rachel Coopey from Ravelry

Alfrick Socks by Rachel Coopey from Ravelry

If you love stranded colour work, these cute socks are just the ticket, combining fun small scale fair isle patterning with knit and purl textured stitches.  And being fraternal socks, you'd only need a skein of each colour! 

We also love Rachel's Brighton socks from her first book, CoopKnits Socks Volume One:

Brighton Socks By Rachel Coopey from CoopKnits Socks Volume One

Brighton Socks By Rachel Coopey from CoopKnits Socks Volume One

Another cute pair of colour work socks, these would be perfect in #105/Danburite with #104/Sphene and #107/Beryl as the accent colours (you'd need two skeins of the main colour and one each of the contrasts).  We love the flag inspired fair isle! 

But what if you're not really a sock knitter? 

How about this cute shawl, Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander

Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander from Ravelry (photo used with kind permission)

Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander from Ravelry (photo used with kind permission)

This pretty shawl combines garter stitch with lace and this combination of garter stitch and lace would work perfectly in Socks Yeah.  You'd need two skeins to knit this and we think it could look gorgeous in a strong colour like #104/Sphene or more subdued shade like #106/Kunzite. 

Or how about some mittens, like these gorgeous Snow flurry mittens by Deepika:

Snow flurry mittens by Deepika from Ravelry (photo used with kind permission)

Snow flurry mittens by Deepika from Ravelry (photo used with kind permission)

These would look amazing in #106 Chryso and #109/Iolite, and with the Nylon content of Socks Yeah your finished mittens would see you through plenty of winters! 

We've been chatting to Rachel and there are lots of new designs for Socks Yeah! in the pipeline too, so watch this space :) 

Happy Knitting! 

 

Yarn Focus: CoopKnits Socks Yeah!

It's the New Year, so we thought we'd give our blog a little revamp!  Every month we're going to focus on one yarn and give you lots of inspiration and ideas for what to make with it.  This month (as you might have guessed from the title), we're focusing on our newest yarn, CoopKnits Socks Yeah!
 

Top row: #101/Obsidian, #102/Ammolite, #103/Axinite, #104/Sphene.  Middle row: #105/Danburite, #106/Kunzite. Bottom row: #107/Beryl, #108/Chryso, #109/ Iolite, #110/Malachite. 

Top row: #101/Obsidian, #102/Ammolite, #103/Axinite, #104/Sphene. 
Middle row: #105/Danburite, #106/Kunzite.
Bottom row: #107/Beryl, #108/Chryso, #109/ Iolite, #110/Malachite. 

This fab new sock yarn with a gorgeous palette of 10 colours is designed by Rachel Coopey of the aforementioned CoopKnits. 

If anyone knows what makes a good pair of socks, it's Rachel, so naturally her first yarn should be a sock yarn :D 

If like us, you're a fan of Rachel's sock patterns, you'll know just how much attention to detail she puts into her designs and this yarn is no different.  Having seen her carefully pick out a range of colours before narrowing them down to the perfect palette of ten shades, we can certainly back that up! 

There are cool and warm shades to suit anyone and so many colour combinations to play with!

There are cool and warm shades to suit anyone and so many colour combinations to play with!

Socks Yeah! balances out the most important properties of a sock yarn perfectly, with Superwash Merino for softness and easy washing and Nylon for strength. 

But it's not just for socks!  It makes beautiful accessories and garments too.  Rachel has even tried it out with crochet, making these pretty motifs to decorate her studio!

Socks Yeah! looks great crocheted too :)

Socks Yeah! looks great crocheted too :)

We had a play around with some different stitches to see how they'd knit up, lace cables, twisted sts and colour work and a bit of crochet too. 

This yarn is such an all rounder, after making a range of swatches using different techniques I can confidently say that it would work just as well in the delicate pretty stitches of a lacy shawl as it would in a cosy pair of socks or that favourite sweater you'll wear to death. 

I wet blocked all the swatches, rolling them in a towel to get rid of the excess water and then pinning them out to dry (I stretched out the lace swatch, but none of the others). 

lace-swatch

For the lace sample, I used #104/Sphene and 3mm needles to give a slightly more open fabric, but I used 2.5mm for all the others.  The lace fabric drapes really nicely on these slightly larger needles, but you could use a larger size still if you wanted.  Even only going up a couple of needle sizes given the fabric a lovely drape when blocked. 

fair-isle-swatch

I'm particularly pleased with the way the yarn works in stranded colour work (using shades #105/Danburite and #102/Ammolite), I find keeping an even tension in fair isle patterns can be tricky on little pieces and small needles, but the stitches stick to each other nicely and really keep the fabric neat. 

The slip stitch cabled swatch (shown in #102/Ammolite) has really nice stitch definition in both the cables and the columns of twisted sts between them. 

cabled-swatch

I love the way the colours in the range work together too, the fact that each shade is slightly heathered makes the transitions between the shades a little softer as you can see in this little crocheted square; worked on a 2.5mm hook in shades (from the centre out) #106/Kunzite, #105/Danburite, #102 Ammolite and #107/Beryl. 

crochet-swatch

For those who want to know, here are all the technical details:


Socks Yeah! is hardwearing and can be machine washed at 30 degrees. 

Content: 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon

Length per skein: 212m/231yds per 50g

Recommended needle size: 2.25mm - 2.75mm (US 1 - 2)

Tension: 36 sts and 50 rows to 10cm (4") using 2.25mm needles


What would you make with Socks Yeah?