What the….?!

Hi Everyone!
We are jumping on the “What the….?!” bandwagon! There are all sorts of sayings, acronyms, emoticons, expressive language (some more colorful than others), and fiber projects, which allow us to insert our own term into the question “What the….?!”  Here are today’s two favorites.

What the….Fade?!

Designed by Andrea Mowry, this What the Fade wrap pattern is her first ever Mystery Knit (ahem) FADE Along!!  The color suggestions (not kits) pictured are among the many potential options available in our Walkabout – Fingering and Freckles – Walkabout yarns.

Why no kits?” you ask. Two simple reasons: 1) to offer you the opportunity to stash bust on this very large project and 2) to encourage you to be your most creative, unique self. We would love to HELP you create your perfect project and don’t want to tie you to preset options. Of course, we’d be delighted to help you put together a one-of-a-kind kit.

Not interested in another mystery? Take a look at this Find Your Fade (at left) by the same designer. This gorgeous shawl was made by Anne Z who raided her stash and then also added our Walkabout – Fingering and Freckles – Walkabout yarns in variegated, tonals, and freckled yarns to bring it all together. A truly personalized beaut of a project!

What the….Fibre Studio?!
This past year has witnessed a lot of changes here at The Fibre Studio at Yarns to Dye For. We expanded our color palette and dye types to include Freckles, added new yarn bases (like Cotton Bamboo and Studio Sox ), and brought back our SW Merino – Sport and Lt Worsted and Bulky in a plethora of color ways.

Our most profound changes have been to our online shop. We redesigned it within a new platform and want to provide you with a visual aid to help navigate the new design AND to let you know what helpful information is available to you 24/7.

As with life, the only constant in our studio is change. Happy stitching, y’all!

Unraveled: Fiber Q&A 05 – Binding Off

Hi All! We are again tackling a highly-personalized topic for knitters. Continuing from our last Unraveled blog post in the series, which was dedicated to cast on methods, today we will discuss bind off methods.

While there are many bind off methods available to knitters, here are several methods which will be utilized repeatedly. We think these methods are great tools for any maker to have in his/her knitting arsenal.

“Why are you sharing several bind off methods but only highlighted a few cast on methods?” you ask. It’s simple really. With a cast on, there’s just “empty space” with needles and a bit of working yarn. However, when there are infinite types of projects and stitch combinations already on the needles at the end of a project, selecting the correct bind off really pays homage to the finished project. It can even “make or break” it.

The Bind…Off (BO)

 

 

 

 

Knitted BO Method: This is the most basic bind off method and should be utilized with right side of fabric facing knitter. Tight knitters should go up 1-2 needle sizes to prevent puckering.

Knit two stitches, pass the first worked stitch over the second worked stitch, leaving remaining stitch on right needle. *Knit another stitch, and pass first worked stitch over last worked stitch, leaving remaining stitch on right needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Stretchy BO Method: This bind off method is great for most all projects, but especially for lace knitting (where projects are aggressively blocked) and for finishing projects which may need to stretch and shrink (e.g. hats, cuffs, socks, et al). This method is already stretchy (most makers do not need to go up a needle size) and is worked with right side of fabric facing the knitter. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

*Knit two stitches together through the back loop and move worked stitch back to the left needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Stretchy Rib BO Method: This bind off method is quite useful for rib combinations (1:1, 2:1, 2:2, et al) when the maker doesn’t want that “flare out” at the end of their project. You know what I mean…that stretched out appearance which can make brand new garments look worn and socks not stay up on the leg. This method is worked with right side of fabric facing the knitter; the method alters based on the “next” stitch. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

Based on rib stitch in row below, knit/purl first stitch. *Looking at the next stitch to be worked, twist existing worked stitch by turning right needle 360 degrees (clockwise for an upcoming knit stitch and counter-clockwise for an upcoming purl stitch), and then work the next stitch as usual in the rib. Pass first worked stitch over second worked stitch.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Icelandic BO Method: This semi-stretchy bind off method is appropriate for binding off those projects knit in garter or with slipped stitches because the resulting edge has very defined horizontal bars. This bind off can be completed from either right or wrong side facing rows. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

*With yarn in back, insert your right needle into the first stitch as if to purl. After insertion, take tip of right needle and insert into second stitch on left needle as if to knit. Wrap working yarn around right needle and knit that second stitch. Move worked stitch back onto left needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Picot BO Method: This decorative method can really finish a lace project beautifully. There is a simple math equation used herein. Basically, the maker should bind off twice as many stitches as he/she casts on. The more stitches cast on, the larger the picot bump. Also, due to the additional cast on stitches, this bind off method utilizes about twice as much yardage to bind off. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

For a small picot – *Cast on two stitches. Knit two stitches and pass first worked stitch over second stitch. Knit the next stitch and pass the first worked stitch over the second stitch…three more times. Slip remaining working stitch back to left needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

I-Cord BO Method: This bind off method is the most complicated and possibly the one utilized the least. However, understanding how this method works is of great benefit when the maker wants to create a beautifully smooth finished edge to a garment and is also beneficial for baby blankets and wash cloths. This method creates a closed edge (and can use 3 or more stitches depending upon the maker’s preferences) so it holds up to wear very well. It also utilizes a lot of yarn to finish the project. We’ve included the link to a helpful video here.

For a 3-stitch I-Cord, cast on three new stitches. *Knit two of the new stitches. Knit the third new stitch along with the next “old” stitch together through the back loop. Move all three stitches on the right needle back to the left needle.* Repeat from * to * as necessary until project is fully bound off.

Feel free to share this or any of our blog posts with your greater fiber community and/or those newbies you’d like to teach to knit. Sharing is caring, and we love welcoming new fiber artists and makers into our community.

Happy and peaceful stitching, y’all!

 

Summer Newes ‘n Such

Hi Everyone,
We have exciting newes for y’all–a new yarn base, a new gradient color way, a new tip, new projects, summer hours, and more.

Introducing Studio Sox
The Fibre Studio has found a new yarn base, which we call Studio Sox, and this fiber blows us away. It is a 75% SW Merino | 25% Nylon blend, and it takes color beautifully. We debuted it during our June 10 WWKiP Day celebration in color way Old Glory, and it was very well-received. Surprisingly, it has a soft and springy hand feel similar to our SW Merino – Fingering but is more tightly-plied and resilient for socks. We have some exciting ideas for our Studio Sox so stay tuned.

Holiday Hours
Please note: Due to the upcoming holiday, The Fibre Studio will NOT be open on Saturday, July 1, nor will we be open on Wednesday, July 5.

Introducing Princess
The Fibre Studio added a new color way called Princess to our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ line for our June 10 WWKiP Day celebration. It is now available on our online shop here. Princess evokes the whimsical pastel dresses of the various animated princesses, we all know and love. This color is Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Tiana, and Cinderella all rolled into one. There is a certain seaside cottage charm elicited by this color as well, and it would be beautiful knit into a lacy shawl and thrown over shoulders on summer evenings.

Flat-Bottom Girls
We have a new contender for an earlier blog post, Connections in the Round. One of our fellow yarnies was knitting a ribbed sock in our new Studio Sox. I asked her why it was flat, and she shared the most FABULOUS tip. She casts on her smaller projects, like hats and socks, and knits flat (back and forth) for two, four, or six rows. When her working yarn meets back up at the starting point (where her end is located), she connects her projects in the round–but only AFTER there is enough yarn in the project to prevent pulling, stretching, etc. When she weaves in her end, she simply uses a modified mattress or duplicate stitch up the side. Voila…a very smooth, seamless join. For those of us who use double-pointed needles, this prevents that crazy helicoptering effect that occurs when there are only 1-2 rows on the needles, and the needles are stronger than the yarn.

Fifty Plus One Projects
We are always looking for project ideas to utilize our yarns in unique and exciting combinations. Below are three very diverse projects, all of which could utilize one skein of our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ and one skein of our SW Merino – Fingering. The possibilities are endless. From left to right, they are Match & Move, Bad Blood Cowl, and Allira Shawl.

     

Stay tuned for our two-day Red, White, and You sale next week. Happy stitching, y’all!

 

Unraveled: Fiber Q&A 04 – Casting On

Continuing our Unraveled series, today we are going to tackle one of two topics, about which some makers feel so strongly, we’re quite sure we can already hear someone’s yarn felting from steam and agitation all the way from over here. (Ha!)

In this post, we answer what WE think are the best cast on methods (our next blog of the series will discuss the bind off). There are many available cast on and bind off methods available to knitters, but we’ve narrowed our blog topics down to a few of each, which we think will repeatedly prove useful during future projects.

The Cast…On (CO)

Long Tail CO Method: This is a great method when you need a fairly stretchy cast on and only a minimal number of stitches needed–a good thing since part of the tail is used to create the cast on stitches. We’ve linked a helpful video here.

Create a slip knot where there is enough tail remaining to create all stitches (depends upon weight and wpi calculations). Place the slip knot on needle and hold the needle in your dominant hand. Ensure the yarn tail is facing you. Insert your non-dominant hand thumb and index finger between your two strands of yarn (tail and working yarn). Close the rest of your fingers around the yarn, which creates tension. While holding your non-dominant hand like holding a slingshot, insert the needle under the strand that is wrapped around your thumb. Lift your needle up and around the top of the strand that is held between your fingers. Bring your yarn out through the thumb loop. Pull your thumb from the loop of the yarn and pull the yarn to tighten the newly-developed stitch. Repeat until the correct number of stitches are on your needle.

Knitted CO Method: This is a consistent method when there is a large number of stitches to cast on and when the cast on edge will be easily seen in in the final project. We’ve linked a helpful video here.

Create a slip knot where there is about six inches of yarn tail remaining. Place the slip knot on needle and hold the needle in your non-dominant hand. Use your fingers to hold the yarn tail out of the way. Holding the other needle in your dominant hand, insert the needle into the slip knot and work a knit stitch, but do NOT slip the previous stitch off of the other needle. With the dominant hand needle still inserted into the new stitch, pull the stitch long, tilt it away from you (to open it up), insert the non-dominant needle into the new stitch, and gently place the stitch on this needle. Insert your dominant needle into the newest stitch as if to knit and repeat until the correct number of stitches are on your needle.

Cable CO Method: This method begins the same as the Knitted Method, however, the remaining steps create definitive spacing and ensure ribs and other stretchy set up rows do not flare or buckle. We’ve linked a helpful video here.

Create a slip knot where there is about six inches of yarn tail remaining. Place the slip knot on needle and hold the needle in your non-dominant hand. Use your fingers to hold the yarn tail out of the way. Holding the other needle in your dominant hand, insert the needle into the slip knot and work a knit stitch, but do NOT slip the previous stitch off of the other needle. With the dominant hand needle still inserted into the new stitch, pull the stitch long, tilt it away from you (to open it up), insert the non-dominant needle into the new stitch, and gently place the stitch on this needle. Insert your dominant needle completely BETWEEN the slip knot stitch and the newly-formed stitch (AND NOT INTO IT), wrap the yarn as if to knit, and pull the stitch through the two stitches. Do NOT slip the previous stitch off of the other needle. With the dominant hand needle still inserted into the new stitch, pull the stitch long, tilt it away from you (to open it up), insert the non-dominant needle into the new stitch, and gently place the stitch on this needle. Repeat as necessary.

For experienced knitters, these are not new methods, however, if you are a beginner or are teaching a friend or loved one how to knit, we hope this list proves to be a useful resource.

Peaceful stitching, y’all!

Unraveled: Fiber Q&A 01 – Colorfastness & Showcasing Bouclé

Recently several customers have asked how to handle various situations with yarns–with topics ranging from yarn care  to knitting questions.  One of The Fibre Studio employees suggested this would be a great blog post because the answers may be apropos to other customers or fiber artists.  Hence, Unraveled:  Fiber Q&A–a blog series dedicated to unraveling some of the mysteries and challenges faced by our customers and readers–was born.  We hope these topics prove useful on your fiber journey.

Question 1: When knitting or crocheting a natural, undyed, or light-colored yarn with a brightly-hued yarn, how do I keep the darker yarn color from bleeding into the lighter yarn?

Answer 1: Colorfastness is the term used in the dyeing of textile materials, meaning resistance of the material’s color to fading or running. Bleeding is usually caused when the yarn color was not set during the dyeing process. Many dyers–not The Fibre Studio, of course–save a bit of processing time by not setting the yarn and waiting for the soaking tub to run completely clear before beginning the drying and skeining process.

If you have experienced this with a manufacturer and you have more of their yarn, you can set the yarn (animal fibers and acid dyes) yourself by soaking the skein in a plastic, glass, or other non-reactive container with water and vinegar (1 gallon water to 1/3 cup vinegar ratio is about right) for 20-30 minutes.  Remove the yarn, rinse out this solution, and if the water runs clear, the color is set.  Of course, this is extra work and customers should NOT have to do this. However, it is worth the extra work to not have your hands, needles, project, and clothing ruined by a yarn whose colorfastness was not ensured in process. Plant fibers dyed with natural or sodium-based yarns must be set a different

Boucle Shoulder Cozy

Question 2: When I knit a bouclé, the pretty loops are flattened and aren’t as noticeable as they were in the shop sample I saw.  Why?

Answer 2:  By definition, the act of creating a knit stitch is creating a smooth flat stitch. These stitches are soft to the touch and allow integrated pattern to be easily seen.  If your goal is the opposite–you want fluffy, bumpy stitches–simply purl the bouclé on the right side/pattern rows.  Don’t knit.  The yarn’s loops and bumps just jump out at you and make your yarn and pattern detail pop!

Until next time, peaceful stitching, y’all!