New Kits on the Block

Hi Everyone,
We visited the Great Smoky Mountains this weekend…Maryville, Tennessee to be exact. Thank you to the fine folks at Hook & Needle: A Yarn Studio for hosting such a lovely trunk show for us. If you are in the area, we highly recommend adding their shop as a stop on your itinerary. The area will host a Wool(dot)Calm event (in mid-March), and who doesn’t enjoy meandering through the mountains seeking out yarn and fiber?

The Fibre Studio is excited to share a new project by one of our favorite designers as well as kits (the selection is just cray cray) for this new project.

Your Slip Is Showing is a boomerang-shaped shawl by designer Casapinka. It is an opportunity to make a large statement piece using a simple slipped stitch technique, which is meditative to knit as it flows from one color combination to the next in twelve different sections. It uses four different colors of fingering-weight yarn and lends itself well to speckles, tonals or variegated colors, fade sets, or gradient colors.

There is a schematic that allows you to plan your shawl colors using colored pens or pencils. How fun! Use it to determine which color will show up at the beginning, middle and end of your project. Directions for this are described in the pattern. Or just do it any ol’ way that you want!
   

This is a fun and addictive knit that creates a soft and interestingly woven piece for your wardrobe. We love our Studio Sox and our Walkabout – Fingering yarns for this project and have created Your Slip Is Showing Kit suggestions in our Studio Sox for you to peruse.
   

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

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

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

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

If It’s Free, It’s For Me!

Hi Everyone,
We realize much of our readership gets overwhelmed during the holiday season. We are all inundated with overlapping sales strategies (including our own), and much of the joy and true meaning behind the holidays is lost during the hustle and bustle of shopping and business.

We are so very grateful for our customers and social media followers as well as for the designers and makers in our greater fiber community. Therefore, we want to spend this week sharing the gifts they’ve offered to us all by featuring these FREE patterns, currently available on Ravelry.

Maori Shawl by Daria Sorokina
Maori is a classic top-down shawl knit in one piece. Patterning is on the right side rows only; wrong side rows are purled. Lace-weight fibers like our Sea Song – Lace or fingering-weight yarn like our Walkabout – Fingering are great options for this project. Gauge is not crucial so use needle size to obtain the desired lace effect. Here are some of our favorite Ravelry projects for you to view and enjoy.
   

Amorous Shawl by Katja Löffler
Unlike many of our featured patterns, this generously-sized shawl pattern is crochet (yayyy!) and is perfect for large-skeins of gradient yarns like our those 7-oz cakes in our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ line. Look at this selection of beautiful completed projects from Ravelry yarnies.
   

Ghost Ranch Cowl by Jessie Ksanznak
This cowl was inspired by the designer’s travels through the American southwest. She visited Santa Fe and fell in love with the Navajo woven fabric designs. Patterns (similar to those in the cowl), dramatic colors, and simple motifs adorned rugs, pillows, and clothing. This project uses slipped stitches and three contrasting colors to create a woven effect, and the pattern comes in three sizes. We think our Cashmere Silk – Fingering would be a luxe option for this cowl, but we love the silky radiance and three-season flexibility of our Sea Song – Fingering as well. Mixing and matching works too! Here are a few completed cowl projects for you to peruse.
 

Touchstone Shawl by Laura Aylor
Sometimes we need to just knit for the pure joy if it…to remember WHY we knit. The combination of simple eyelets and garter stitch in this shawl make it an easy public knit when with our friends. It’s an ideal project for most all fibers, including tonal, variegated, and gradient yarns. The Fibre Studio has a studio sample in Nantahala in our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ line, but this shawl can be enlarged by using SW Merino – Sport or can really be personalized by stash busting from your existing favorites. Here are some of the beauties found on Ravelry.

Black Sheep Are Ewes Too

The Fibre Studio has long struggled with how to identify our one-of-a-kind color ways or those 4-ounce skeins that broke during the winding process, which ended up being odd-sized skeins after we trim off the broken bits. We decided to name these unique offerings, Black Sheep. So the next time you’re in our studio, and you see our little lavender-faced ewe….there may just be a very special color, product, or price attached.

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

Happy and peaceful stitching, y’all!
The Ewe Crew

November 2017 Newes

Hi Everyone,
This November, we are celebrating the “golden age” of fiber, crafty ninja ewes, and a seasonal recipe.

We Put the Gold in These Winners
One of our newest gold standard projects is the Tilted Cowl. Our shop sample was made in luxurious Sea Song – Fingering, in three contrasting colors. We’ve used colors Indigo, BoHo Chic, and Golden Wheat in the sample (at left), but have offered a few additional color suggestions below.

This uniquely-shaped cowl combines the best characteristics of a cowl and a shawlette, and our Sea Song – Fingering (a Merino/Silk/Sea Cell™ blend) looks luminous and feels amazing against the skin.

   
Above Left: Golden Wheat, Cherokee, Sage Leaf
Above Middle: Purple Haze, BoHo Chic, Coral
Above Right: Silver, Mountain Thistle, Sage Leaf

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

We used Cherokee, Deep Woods Red, Autumn Gold, Asparagus, and There’s a Storm Brewin’ in Walkabout – Fingering for our shop sample at right.

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.

The Yin and Yang of Shopping
Meet our three Ewe Ninjas. These ewes will help guide our customers and readership through one of the most harrowing shopping weekends of the year. Balance your shopping chi and learn about these little helpers.


Our first ewe ninja is Noir, who is our personal shopper for Black Friday. Noir will help you navigate our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ line, which will be on sale on Friday, November 24.

 


The second ewe ninja is Purpur, who is our personal shopper for Small Business Saturday. Purpur is a bit of a bag lady and will help you navigate our Atenti and custom Holly Aiken bags, which will be on sale on Saturday, November 25.

 

Named for the star of Stranger Things, our third ewe ninja is Eleven, who is the personal shopper for Cyber Monday. Eleven will help you navigate that strange and wonderful cyber space where beautiful yarns meet amazing projects. Eleven knows a secret, which is The Fibre Studio is having a sweater knit-a-long (KAL) in January. Hence, our Walkabout – Fingering, Merino Bamboo – Fingering, and our Patterns will be on sale on Monday, November 27. This will be a great time to stock up on fiber and patterns for generously-sized projects like large wraps and sweaters.

Stay tuned. More to come next week….same fluffybutt time, same fluffybutt channel.

A Seasonal Recipe
With the holiday season approaching and all the gorgeous apples available, we wanted to share an all-natural and tasty recipe with you.

Salted Caramel Fruit Dip (Makes About 2 1/2 Cups)
Ingredients:
2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup raw smooth hazelnut butter
3-4 tsp fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/8-1/4 tsp sea salt (to taste)
Large, flaky salt to garnish (optional)
Instructions:
1. Cover dates in warm (but not hot) water and soak for 4-6 hours.
2. Drain the dates and place in a food processor, reserving date water.
3. Add hazelnut butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and sea salt to food processor. Process mixture on high until smooth. Add reserved date water (one tablespoon at a time) until desired consistency–thicker for dippin’ and thinner for drizzlin’. Garnish with flaky salt as desired.
4. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Serving Suggestions: Perfect as a dip for crisp, tart apple (or other firm fruit) slices or as a drizzle for apple-pecan “nachos.”

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

Peaceful stitching and mining for gold, y’all!
The Ewe Crew