Two Birds, One Sox

Hi Everyone,
This week we’ve gone to the birds! We have a fun project to feature, amazing color recommendations for that project, and a winter Olympics trivia blurb.

Zorzal by Lisa Hannes
In Spanish, a zorzal is a thrush….a plump, soft-plumaged bird, and this project is soft and eye-catching in the way it’s designed, reminiscent of the back and forth movements of a busy bird. The Zorzal crescent-shaped shawl by designer Lisa Hannes is worked in a mix of garter stripes and short-row wedges to create a fun interplay between two (or more) colors. The tassels at the tips add an eye-catching element to highlight one of the colors.

Designed for fingering weight yarn in two contrasting colors, it is a fun and addictive knit that creates a modern, easy-to-wear item for your daily wardrobe. We love our Studio Sox and our Walkabout – Fingering yarns for this project. Some of our favorite combinations are shown below.

Phoenix Rising in Studio Sox
Our color way Phoenix Rising is a variegated color way containing reds, raspberry, pink, and gold on a natural background. These colors sometimes combine and mix within one skein to create tones evoking the mythical phoenix as it flies too close to the sun, only to burn, and then rise from the ashes. This color way–paired with either Raspberry Jam, Deep Woods Red, Butterscotch, or Pearl–is a great option for a new Zorzal!

BoHo Chic in Studio Sox

Evoking the modern hipster and polished denim-loving crowd, our BoHo Chic color way combines a myriad of blues and golds and reds, with warm touches of secondary olive and purple and hints of persimmon. Another fantastic option for the Zorzal shawl, this color can be brightened by combining with Autumn Gold or Harvest or certified hipster by combining with Loden or Denim.

Murano in Studio Sox
Any fan of hand-blown Venice glass is familiar with the splendor of the tones found in our Murano color way. When Murano glass is melted, it is generally applied in one of two ways–as individually-spaced droplets as on hand-made beads or melted and blended together to create new colors in the overlap. Pairing Murano with the deeply brilliant tones of Blackberry, Juniper, Purpleicious, or Raspberry Jam, could make your Zorzal the fairest of them all.

Winter Olympics Trivia: The Winter Olympics has been hosted on three continents by eleven different countries. The 2018 winter games are being held in PyeongChang, South Korea this month. However, as of 2017 no city in the southern hemisphere had ever applied to host the cold-weather-dependent Winter Olympics. Perhaps it is because the winter Olympics are held in February at the height of the southern hemisphere’s summer. Snow birds may fly south for the winter, but winter Olympians stay north where the cold weather is found in February!

Want to know what we’re deweing? Pop in to see our studio wörks on Ravelry, Facebook, and Instagram as well as on our website at thefibrestudio.com.

Happy stitching, y’all!
The Ewe Crew

No Faded Fade Here

Hi Everyone,
With all the trending fade projects out there, we’ve seen only a few that use tonal versus speckled yarns. We like to occasionally buck the trends and use yarns that others may have not yet chosen to try our hand at personalizing a project. We have a gorgeous What the Fade Shawl to share with you below and also want to share a new reference button on our eShop called Palette.

What the Fade Wrap
Designed by Andrea Mowry, this wrap pattern is her first ever Drea Renee Knits Mystery Knit (ahem) FADE Along!!  What a fun time to mix and match color ways to personalize this large, comfy shawl.

While we’ve seen many speckle-ful variations of the What the Fade shawl, our sample (at left) is the first deeply-hued tonal shawl we’ve seen of its kind. Can we just say…we LOVE it!

The combination of saturated color ways and stitches actually create a woven look; this is a masterful accessory for any wardrobe.

We love our Studio Sox and our Walkabout – Fingering yarns for this project. The sample above was knit in Walkabout color ways Edge of Night, Emma’s Favorite, Redwood, Santa Fe, Tobacco Road, and Juniper.

Palette: A Color Family Tree
We’ve added a little button on the Home page of our eShop. It’s called Palette and is a reference for all you yarnies out there who are dreaming about projects and colors and would like to see some of our favorite color combinations.

When it comes to the marriage of projects and colors, the options are endless. Here we have provided a color guide to display a few of our most popular color collections. Most of these color ways are available in all of our fiber bases although the tones and hues may vary depending upon the fiber content.

If you do not see a color way in the fiber you desire in our online store, please contact us to discuss options. This palette is by no means all-inclusive, and the options are limited only to your imagination.

Want to know what we’re deweing? Pop in to see our studio wörks on Ravelry, Facebook, and Instagram as well as on our website at thefibrestudio.com.

Happy stitching, y’all!
The Ewe Crew

Wassail, Ferns & Feathers

Hi Everyone!
We hope you’ve recovered from Snowmaggedon 2018 and are back to your most productive and creative selves. Via social media, we saw new projects cast on during THE winter storm of the century (until the next one, that is) and loved how makers in our greater fiber community got busy! We cast on a new project ourselves (more below).

A side effect of blogging is a greater awareness of all things trivia and how it is all somehow related. For instance, during the holidays and into the new year, “wassailing” is often mentioned. What exactly is wassailing? Like many, we thought wassailing was simply caroling with adult libations in hand and found, while that’s true, that’s not the whole fleece of it.

The word wassail comes from Old English /was hál/  related to the Anglo-Saxon greeting /wes þú hál/ meaning “be you hale” (i.e. “be healthful” or “be healthy”). It is a perfect salutation or toast for the new year. Wassail, y’all!

Wassail: The Beverage
Wassail is a hot, mulled punch often associated with Yuletide drunk from a “wassailing bowl.” The earliest versions were warmed mead into which roasted crab apples were dropped and burst to create a drink called “lambswool” (Whaaaat? See a great post on wassailing and beverages including those known as lambswool or “mutton and wool” here.) drunk on Lammas day, still known in Shakespeare’s time. Later, the drink evolved to become a mulled cider made with sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, topped with slices of toast as sops and drunk from a large communal bowl.

Modern recipes begin with a base of wine, fruit juice or mulled ale, sometimes with brandy or sherry added. Apples or oranges are often added to the mix, and some recipes also call for beaten eggs to be tempered into the drink. Great bowls turned from wood, pottery or tin often had many handles for shared drinking and highly decorated lids; antique examples can still be found in traditional pubs. Hence the first stanza of the traditional carol the Gloucestershire Wassail dating back to the Middle Ages.

Wassail! wassail! all over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink unto thee.

Wassail: The Lambswool
Lamb’s whool or lambswool is a variety of wassail made from ale, baked apples, sugar and spices.

Next crowne the bowle full
With gentle Lambs whool,
Adde sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
With store of ale too,
And thus ye must doe
To make the Wassaile a swinger.


Irish antiquarian Charles Vallancey proposed that the name “lambswool” was a corruption of the name of a pagan Irish festival, “Lamas Ubhal,” during which a similar drink was had. Alternatively, the name may derive from the drink’s similar appearance to the wool of lambs. (Sounds lip-smacking good, doesn’t it?!) Ale is occasionally replaced by ginger ale for children, especially around Halloween and New Year.

Wassailing: The Culture
In the cider-producing counties in the southwest of England (primarily Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire) or southeast England (Kent, Sussex, Essex and Suffolk), wassailing refers to a traditional ceremony that involves singing and drinking to the health of trees on Twelfth Night in the hopes that they might better thrive. The purpose of wassailing is to awaken the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn.

The ceremonies of each wassail vary from village to village but they generally all have the same core (apples, anyone?) elements. A wassail King and Queen lead the song and/or a processional tune to be played/sung from one orchard to the next. The wassail Queen is then lifted into the boughs of the tree where she places toast soaked in wassail from the clayen cup as a gift to the tree spirits (and to show the fruits created the previous year). In some counties the youngest boy or “Tom Tit” (Where is little Johnny Appleseed when you need him?) will stand in for the Queen and hang the cider soaked toast in the tree. Then an incantation is usually recited.

Soo…enjoy your lambswool, your singing and caroling, and be hale and hearty with it all this new year.

Casting On: Fern & Feather Pullover
One of the recent projects we’ve cast on our needles during the recent winter storm is the Fern & Feather pullover by designer Jennifer Steingass. The pattern is one of five in ‘Lookbook #4: Puget Sound,’ which is part of the series, “By Hand: Making Communities.”

A top-down Icelandic-inspired stranded yoke sweater. This pullover is worked seamlessly from the top down, starting with a simple rolled neckline. The yoke is knit in stranded color work, then short row shaping is added to the back of the sweater to shape the shoulders and neckline. Gentle waist shaping makes for a flattering, feminine fit.
 

Debbie D cast on her Fern & Feather on a recent snow day. She is combining our new Fifty Shades of Gradient™ – deja vu in color way Lavender Fields with our SW Merino – Sport in color way Silver. Yes, she’s combining fingering- and sport-weight yarns in a stranded project. Other than being mindful of her tension during the stranding, the two can be easily-melded, and the incorporated gradient effect will be amazing. The sweet peaks of the ferns are already visible in her cast on.

Did YOU cast on any projects during Snowmaggedon? Did you wassail?

Want to know what we’re deweing? Pop in to see our studio wörks on Ravelry, Facebook, and Instagram as well as on our website at thefibrestudio.com.

Peaceful stitching, y’all!
The Ewe Crew

Mission Possible

Hi All,
This week we are going to share a lovely new shop sample, provide Ravelry links to our favorite projects (by project types and yarn quantities) and ply you with enough information on SAFF to enable you to grow your stash to great effect, with minimal effort. Should you choose to accept this mission (queue music here)….

Inara Wrap by Ambah O’Brien
The Inara Wrap (studio sample at left knit by Sue C. in our color ways Belize and Business Suit) may just be the blank slate on which you paint your own personality. Select two sets of gradient yarns for a rich ombre, or mix and match from your stash favorites.

The pattern is written for three sizes. We recommend two, 4-ounce cakes of our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ for the short and simple version (i.e. fewer ends to weave in). The medium and long versions can be created using a main color way in SW Merino – Fingering along with either 5- or 6-skein Color Play Kit. The options are limitless.

Ravelry Bundles
Each year about this time, we like to highlight some of our favorite knit and crochet projects by yarn requirements (bundled in Ravelry) so our customers and social media followers may organize their stashes and their shopping for maximum effect.
   
   

Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF)
 
Are you ready for the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) 2017?! We are busily preparing for this annual event, located practically in our back yard. The event proper will be held from Thursday to Sunday, October 26-29. The event is located at the WNC Agricultural Center, in Fletcher, NC. The Fibre Studio’s booth will be located in the Davis Arena in Booths 336 & 338.

While there are classes (registration info here) being held on Thursday, there is no shopping or selling until: Fri & Sat, October 27-28, 9am – 6pm AND Sun, October 29, 9am – 4pm

SAFF Mystery Color Way: This year’s mystery SAFF color is absolutely gorgeous, and we’ve appropriately named it Nantahala. We are taking pre-orders through October 18 so customers are assured of receiving a cake of this luscious color way for pick up at SAFF (we always run out) or immediate shipping thereafter. Get yours now while there’s still have enough time to make something gorgeous to enjoy for fall and winter. Nantahala orders placed after October 18 will not be dyed until November.

Please Note: The Fibre Studio will be CLOSED to the public from October 25-29 in preparation for and traveling to SAFF. Online orders received during this time will be processed upon our return. Thank you for your patience as always.

Happy traveling and stitching, y’all!

The Fall Crawl and No Shawls, Y’all

Hi Everyone,
The Charlotte Area Yarn Crawl is in full swing, and crawlers and yarnies alike are looking for those special projects and color ways to get them in a makin’ frame of mind.

While we absolutely love our shawls, y’all, this week we are going to feature (in one instance revisit) some of our recently favored sweater patterns. Yes, it is still possible to add a new staple to your wardrobe WITH time enough to actually enjoy it during the fall and winter months.

Granito by Joji Locatelli
Designed by Joji Locatelli as part of her FAVORITE THINGS collection, Granito is a pullover with a relaxed fit and big pockets on the sides. Perfect for lounging and relaxing, it will become a valued wardrobe staple.

This sweater is worked seamlessly from the top down and has 6-8 inches of positive ease. Further, the designer has made available the bust, body, and arm circumference measurements as well as the sleeve and body length measurements.

Tegna by Caitlin Hunter
By independent designer, Caitlin Hunter, Tegna is a lightweight t-shirt pullover, which is knitted seamlessly from the bottom up, beginning with the slightly flared lace hem, working up to the armholes, where you separate your work and work the front and back flat.

Knit in fingering weight yarn, this design works equally well in many fibers and can be made with less body ease. Instructions are given to customize the body and sleeve lengths to your preference to ensure this is the prettiest tee in your wardrobe.

Winter Wheat by Atelier Alfa
Winter Wheat (not to be confused with our color way of the same name) is an asymmetrical cardigan by Atelier Alfa (aka AlfaKnits) with large textured stripes and an eccentric construction.

Winter Wheat is worked top down and sideways at the same time. The left front and the collar are worked in one piece and the top stripes wrap around the neck as a shawl. This special construction ensures the left front falls straight and the right front more fluidly.

VNeck Boxy by Joji Locatelli
Designed by Joji Locatelli as the encore to her best-selling Boxy, this vneck version includes a different neckline. Like the original, the VNeck Boxy is also worked from the top down to please most knitters’ preference for this method. As with the original pattern, both versions include the knitted flat and in the round instructions.

Further, the ribbing found at the shoulders and down the top of the arms ensure there is no pulling or puckering in the one spot that most frustrates many makers.

For those of you who could not make it to the Queen City for our Charlotte Area Yarn Crawl, please note that our online store and shipping options allow us to send some of our local fiber yumminess from our door to yours, pretty much no matter where you are. Some of our latest yarns and swag developed with the fall crawl in mind are featured below for your convenience. Just let your mouse do your crawlin’ for you!

  
  

Happy crawling and happy stitching, y’all!

Starting Points, Fades & Crawls

Hi Everyone,
During the past few weeks, we’ve had the most lovely completed samples and customer projects, which were knit in our fibers, brought to our studio for our customers (and us) to enjoy. We’d like to share some of these sample photos and projects details with you to offer inspiration for the upcoming Charlotte Yarn Crawl.

Starting Point Wrap by Joji Locatelli
Whether you’re looking for Starting Point Wrap kit ideas or just want Joji’s pattern to create a one-of-a-kind project, this is what the process can become!

Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry
We now know you can Free Your Fade, exclaim What the Fade, or (in this case) Find Your Fade in the most delightful color ways.

Wild & Free by Amanita Agata Mackiewicz
Then there are those who don’t want to cast off into the fading lands; they just want to be Wild & Free as in this beautiful and simple shawl.

Charlotte Area Yarn Crawl
The long-awaited Charlotte Area Yarn Crawl is just around the corner. Local and visiting yarnies will crawl from September 22-30 to eleven local yarn shops and studios. As previously mentioned, there will be a LOT going on this yarn crawl including:

  • Treasure Map: Get maps stamped to be entered for a grand-prize;
  • MKAL Pattern: Each location will make available a part of the pattern to shoppers;
  • Swag Pins: Show your LYS support by purchasing a swag pin at each shop/studio;
  • Community Project: Learn about our Save the Knockers Campaign or plan to visit the Pink Lady Truck at one of the LYS; and
  • New Yarns & Colors: Many shops will offer new yarns or color ways during the crawl. The Fibre Studio has several new color ways in our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ line, which are perfect for a fall crawl! Below (from L to R) are Amsterdam, Queen of Hearts (which made its recent debut at the Annual Wool Gathering in Ohio), Joplin, and Autumn’s End (another Annual Wool Gathering first).

     

Are you ready for this most splendiferous of fiber seasons? We certainly are! Happy shopping and stitching, y’all!

Harvesting Wheat and Other Fall Treats

Hi Everyone,
It’s here; it’s here! Our shop sample of Winter Wheat (completed by the talented Linda R) is finally in the shop, and it is so scrumptiously beautiful. If you haven’t identified a fall project, this may be just the one for you.

Winter Wheat is an asymmetrical cardigan by Atelier Alfa (aka AlfaKnits) with large textured stripes and an eccentric construction. It is worked top down and sideways at the same time. The left front and the collar are worked in one piece and the top stripes wrap around the neck as a shawl. This special construction ensures the left front falls straight and the right front more fluidly.

Stitches are left on hold for the sleeves and the body is worked top down with more interesting stitch patterns and textures. The sleeves are also worked top down; the right side has the same large stripes. The left sleeve is finished with some smaller stripes at the bottom. Finally an attached I-cord can be added with a few afterthought buttonholes. Sample shown in Walkabout – Fingering in color ways Cherokee, There’s a Storm Brewin, Deep Woods Red, Kale, and Autumn Gold.

Rolling…Rolling…Rolling
The Fibre Studio is again taking “the show on the road” on October 7. We are presenting a Trunk Show at Admit Ewe Knit yarn shop in Raleigh, North Carolina, our lovely state capitol. If you are in the area, pop in for our pop up and peruse our shop samples in person to find your next favorite project…whether it’s Sweatitude (sweaters with attitude), a Fade (What the Fade or Find Your Fade), or you’re seeking a Starting Point…and the meaning of it all! We have something right for ewe.

Another reminder that we are still in the throes of our preemptive Save the Knockers Campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. We are seeking Knitted Knockers knitters (say that five times quickly) and taking orders for Hope (below left) as part of our campaign. We are also taking pre-orders for our new Fifty Shades of Gradient™ color ways Amsterdam (below center) and Joplin (below right) for the Charlotte Yarn Crawl, which begins on September 22.

   

What’s on your needles or in your queue for this fall, y’all?