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