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

Tips & Trips & Trivia, Oh My!

Hi Everyone,
Welcome to February–an exciting month for many reasons. This week we have a new tip that will prove to be a lifeline, some February holiday trivia, and a few upcoming festivals and shows. Later this month we will release two new color ways, but that is a subject for an upcoming post (bwaahahahaaaa).

Not-So-Notable February Holidays
While there are a few very well-known American holidays in February like Groundhog Day (2/2), Superbowl Sunday (1st Sun in Feb), Valentine’s Day (2/14), and Presidents Day (3rd Mon in Feb), did you know there was also:

  • National Pizza Day (2/9) – It is appropriate this occurs in February; pizza pie is even mentioned in the song ‘That’s Amore’ because…well…love!
  • Singles Awareness Day (2/15) – Ummm…is that ironic or what?
  • National Drink Wine Day (2/18) – What a grape idea!
  • National Muffin Day (2/20) – Use this day to soak up the residuals of all that wine.
  • National Margarita Day (2/22) – Watch out when this falls on Taco Tuesday!
  • National Chili Day (2/23) – To bean or not to bean is the question!
  • National Tortilla Chip Day (2/24) – This wasn’t combined with Nat’l Margarita Day, why?

Valentine’s Day Trivia: Most stories of how this holiday originated are considered somewhat romantic. However, one of the martyrdom stories is based on a popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome, which indicated he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell. Saint Valentine was not the only martyr ever to sign a note in that manner. There are plenty of husbands and boyfriends who think they are martyrs at this time of year…bless their hearts.

Vertical Lifeline
Many knitters use a lifeline, especially when knitting open lacework, where tinking or frogging back to an earlier row is challenging due to ornate patterning. However, there is a great reason to use a vertical lifeline as well. “What is it?” you ask. A vertical lifeline is a piece of thread or  yarn, which is inserted at the beginning of a large number of repeats to keep track of a set number of those repeats. It is especially useful when using magic loop and knitting anything two at a time.

“How is it used?” you ask. For example, when knitting socks (or mittens or sleeves or 80’s legwarmers) two at a time on magic loop, it can be difficult to track position with four or more pieces involved. It’s especially confusing when the maker must set it down for some time. However, if the maker inserts a piece of thread at the beginning of an oft-repeated section and leaves it visible and reinserts it VERTICALLY every ten rows or so, it is easy to quickly review and count where the knitter left off the project.

The photo at right shows a vertical lifeline inserted into a sock and then reinserted every ten rows allowing the maker to count rows/repeats easily. A quick visual inspection of each section would show where the maker left off in the project so he/she doesn’t lose count, skip a section, or (aaack) knit backwards, which has happened to many of us when using magic loop.

Upcoming Events
Feb 16-18: The Fibre Studio will present a Trunk Show (aka Pop-Up Shop) at Hook & Needle Yarn Shop in Maryville, TN. (Studio Closed)
Feb 16-18: The Southern Alpaca Celebration will be held at the Cabarrus Arena in Concord, NC. This is a great opportunity to meet members of the Piedmont Fiber Guild (PFG) and learn of their local activities as well as learn more about alpaca and spinning.
Mar 3: For those interested in spinning but cannot attend the alpaca show, our next Spinning Saturday will be the first Saturday in March at The Fibre Studio; all skill levels are welcome. Just a reminder that The Fibre Studio is a retailer for Majacraft and Ashford spinning and weaving products. We are always happy to answer questions or arrange demos for those of you interested in learning more.

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

Sox on the Run

Hi Everyone,
Happy New Year! We hope your holiday season was as merry and bright as all your colorful projects.

Our new year began with a bang. Our recently-added (and beloved) fiber base, Studio Sox, has taken an unexpected run in a new and fun direction and helped shape the beautiful yarns and projects featured today. We hope you love them as much as we do.

Fifty Shades of Gradient™ – deja vu
Our newest color line within our Studio Sox family, is our deja vu line. We’ve taken our best-selling gradient color ways and applied those to our sock yarn.

These cakes begin and end in the same color order (hence the name deja vu), which is perfect for making socks/gloves two at a time (just pull from both the inside and outside). Exclusive to The Fibre Studio, we offer these cakes in two sizes. The mini skein is 1.75 oz | 50 g with approximately 220 yards, and the regular skein is 3.5 oz | 100 g with approximately 440 yards. The single mini skein is of great use for those projects (like Yondah Window below) requiring a small amount of yardage as a contrasting color. These smaller single gradient skeins do the work of a color play set but without all those ends to weave in. Our deja vu is also a unique option for hats, gloves, and even some stranded projects.

Yondah Window
The latest shawl pattern released by Casapinka named Yondah Window (Rhode Island Shakespeare fans rejoice!) is designed to frame a gradient or eye-popping variegated yarn within the framework of a complementary or contrasting tonal colorway. Simple slipped stiches (mosaic knitting) create the rectangular window panes and garter stitch frames those colorful panes.

While the pattern is currently only available on Ravelry here, our fearless leader Debbie Davis was excited to participate as one of the test knitters on this project. She said the shawl was an easy, but interesting, project to construct. She was so enthusiastic about it, she developed the new deja vu product line FOR this project. Debbie used a mini skein of Cherokee in Fifty Shades of Gradient™ – deja vu and Chestnut in Studio Sox. This is lovely in the photos but even more gorgeous in person.

All Points South
Another fun project by designer Casapinka is this pullover shawl called All Points South, a fun hybrid project meant to drape down over your shoulders to some degree like a shawl but not necessarily fit all the way over your shoulders as a poncho would. Two sizes are available, and the pattern is designed to fit everyone. You can wear it bunched up like a cowl or lay it flat and smooth over your shoulders.
 
It is top down, seamless, with a “V.” There are a variety of stitches to keep it interesting; it’s designed for solids, speckles, variegated or a combination of all three. We like our Walkabout – FingeringStudio Sox (as pictured in our shop sample in color ways Painted ElephantRaspberry Jam, and Charcoal), and Fifty Shades of Gradient™ – deja vu for this project.

Laurelie Shawl
Designed by Lisa Hannes, this bias-knit triangular shawl is combining the interplay of two colors with a bold & graphic mosaic stitch pattern, which creates an eye-catching effect. It is an easy and fun knit (as it only engages one yarn color at a time) that will give you a large and cozy shawl to keep you warm.

This pattern is perfect for one 3.5-ounce skein of our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ – deja vu and one 3.5-ounce skein of Studio Sox. Our shop sample features Amsterdam and Blackberry. However, we love our Walkabout – Fingering and Merino Bamboo – Fingering (adds a soft sheen) for these mosaic stitch projects as well.

Wild & Free
While we’ve featured the Wild & Free shawl once before, it is truly a beautiful two-skein knit and worth another viewing…especially since there are more Studio Sox and deja vu options available now!  Designed by Amanita Agata Mackiewicz, this shawl was inspired by mountain peaks and nature. The maker can go very modern and graphic, but this shawl can also go boho or gypsy with the addition of a few tassels and depending upon color choices.

This wrap grows from a couple of stitches, just like a single sunbeam to sunrise. The shawl is asymmetrical, mostly garter stitch, triangle-based, and has three lace arrow sections to match the number of corners and (potential) tassels. Our current favorites (Raspberry Jam and Painted Elephant) are used in the pictured sample.

Don’t Forget Socks!
This is the time of year when socks are the bombdiggity! It also makes sense to use our Studio Sox for socks! The Fibre Studio is in the process of writing our own pattern for ALL FOUR of our sock yarn options (tonalsvariegated, tonal/variegated with different heel and toe, and gradients) so stay tuned for more information! This sock pattern may be the only sock pattern you will ever need again….well….ummmm….can you really ever have TOO many sock patterns?!

Later this month we will also share a cozy sweater project with you all, show you what Wassailing (yes, the hale and hearty drink) has in common with lambs wool, and share where we will pop up (shops and shows) next.

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 and keeping cozy in the cold weather, y’all!
The Ewe Crew

Holiday Potluck & Black Sheep Sale

Hi Everyone,
Here’s the scoop on The Fibre Studio Newes for the month of December.

Holiday Potluck Luncheon
Help us celebrate the holidays by bringing a dish to share during our December 6 Holiday Potluck Luncheon, from 12-2pm following our Open Knit/Crochet group (10am-12pm).

The Fibre Studio will provide cups, plates, napkins, and cutlery; however, we ask participants to bring a dish to share as well as any serving ware, specialty items, and extension cords for any Instant Pots, slow cookers, or other electronic devices they may bring.

Should you be interested in attending, please RSVP to our Facebook Event Page so we have an approximate headcount. Thank you!

Black Sheep Sale
Our Inventory Reduction Sale begins on Wednesday, December 6 through Friday, December 22. Odd-size skeins, interesting fibers, and Black Sheep (one-of-a-kind, never-repeated) color ways will be on sale for 20-40% off select items, in store only. Our paper books and pattern collections (excluding Churchmouse) will be on sale at 65% off. Come see us during December and pick up a few bargains!

The Most Personal Gift of All
Want to give a personalized gift to a maker but unsure of what they want or need? Let them personalize it themselves. Give them a gift card, The Fibre Studio Gift Card to be precise, and let them choose! What a great way to show you care AND ensure they get exactly what they crave. We have gift cards in increments to fit any budget, and customers can mix and match increments as necessary.

Dyeus Interruptus
Please Note: Our dyeing studio will temporarily hibernate after November 30. We will not take any new dyeing orders during the month of December as we sell existing inventory, restock supplies, update our website, and plan our holiday time with family. We will pick back up after the new year. Our retail space will still be open during regular business hours in December through the 22nd.

Holiday Hours & Inventory
The Fibre Studio will be closed for the Christmas Holiday, end-of-year inventory, and the New Years Holiday from, December 23 through January 2. We will reopen for regular business on Wednesday, January 3 for Open Knit/Crochet.

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, shopping, and being with those you love, y’all!
The Ewe Crew

Cyber Monday, A KAL & Other Newes

Hi Everyone!
We hope ewe had the most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and shopping weekend ever. We have a few updates to share as we enter the busy holiday season.

Cyber Monday Sale
Whether you’re participating in the January Sweater KAL (see more below) or want to fill other large-project needs, our Cyber Monday Sale is STILL going strong! This is the perfect time to order that Walkabout – Fingering, Merino Bamboo – Fingering, and Patterns all on sale at 25% off until 11:59pm ET tonight. Use discount code CYBER17 at checkout.

Been waiting for the perfect time to stock up for a Find Your Fade or Starting Point Wrap?
This is it!

January Sweater KAL
The Fibre Studio is announcing a January Sweater Free-For-All Knit-Along. January is a great month to have a sturdy project warming your lap. We will gather during our first (Spinning) Saturday in January (the 6th) to cast on or pick up our project. We will continue for the next several Wednesdays (during Open Knit/Crochet) and into February. KAL Gathering Dates are: Jan 6, 10, 17, 24, 31 and Feb 3, 7 in total.

We’ve added a diverse selection of lovely sweater and cardigan patterns to our online shop. There is something for just about everyone. Top Row Below (L to R): HVIDE, Gretchen, and Donner. Bottom Row Below (L to R): Whippet (Long), AntlerFriday Anew, and VNeck Boxy.

 

Our most recent shop sample is the beautiful Granito, a pullover by Joji Locatelli, designed as part of her FAVORITE THINGS collection. Granito is a basic sweater with a relaxed fit and big pockets on the sides. It’s the perfect garment for lounging and relaxing. It’s worked seamlessly from the top down.

Our lovely shop sample was knit in our Merino Bamboo – Fingering yarn (on sale today) in color way Charcoal by the very talented Linda R. Our Granito will be displayed during the months of December and January for any of you who would like to take a closer look.

Have a previous favorite you never started or completed? Bring it and knit-along with us. We continue to love Hitofude, Chance of Showers, Juicy Gloss, Winter Wheat, and Tegna. One of our associates is even going to FINALLY begin her Easy Folded Poncho. There are no wrong choices and today’s Cyber Monday Sale makes buying the yarn and the pattern a “snap” and a bargain.
   
   

Spinning Saturday
Attention all spinners! Our last Sit & Spin Saturday of the year will be December 2. Bring your wheels, your roving (or find hand-dyed roving in our studio), a brown bag lunch, and your current projects to sit and spin with us on an on-going basis on the first Saturdays of the month. All skill levels welcome.

Holiday Potluck Luncheon
Help us celebrate the holidays by bringing a dish to share during our December 6 Holiday Potluck Luncheon, from 12-2pm following our Open Knit/Crochet group (10am-12pm).

The Fibre Studio will provide cups, plates, napkins, and cutlery; however, we ask participants to bring a dish to share as well as any serving ware, specialty items, and extension cords for any Instant Pots, slow cookers, or other electronic devices they may bring.

Should you be interested in attending, please RSVP to our Facebook Event Page so we have an approximate headcount. Thank you!

Dyeus Interruptus
Please Note: Our dyeing studio will temporarily hibernate after November 30. We will not take any new dyeing orders during the month of December as we sell existing inventory, restock supplies, update our website, and plan our holiday time with family. We will pick back up after the new year. Our retail space will still be open during regular business hours in December through the 22nd.

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, shopping, and being with those you love, y’all!
The Ewe Crew