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

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

Merry Christmas


The Fibre Studio will be closed from Friday, December 22 through Tuesday, January 2 for the Christmas Holiday, our annual inventory, and for New Year’s.  We will reopen in the New Year on Wednesday, January 3, for Open Knit/Crochet at 10 am.

Happy stitching 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

SAFF Recap, Halloween & Sheep Ninjas

Hi Everyone,
Ready for some tricks or treats?

For those of you who attended the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) in Fletcher, North Carolina, you’ve already enjoyed a few TREATS. After a few initial TRICKY technical difficulties with the Davis Arena wi-fi, this year’s SAFF was another huge success. We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to those of you who came by our booth to see us and support our participation. We appreciate you!

A Smoky Mountain Treat
Our secret SAFF color way was posted on Facebook and Instagram just as we were pulling away from our doors and heading to SAFF. This Nantahala color way, part of our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ line, was dyed with SAFF in mind. This fiber festival takes place at the end of October and is in a particularly beautiful and colorful part of the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

Nantahala (our color’s namesake) is Cherokee for “Land of the Noonday Sun.” The Nantahala National Forest is also located in the Smokies. This area has richly-hued autumn foliage with crystal bright waters, which feed into Fontana Lake. For you Game of Thrones lovers, this color way IS “the song of fire and ice.”

For those of you looking for a new project, we made our shop sample from the lovely Laura Aylor shawl pattern called Touchstone, which is currently a free download on Ravelry here.

One Trick, More Treats
These are the last days customers can order our Halloween colors. Two of these colors will be placed in hibernation until next year.  Even though we’ve gifted these color ways with groovy Monster Mash-friendly names like Wicked (below top left), Slip Sliming Away (below top right), Eastwick (below bottom left) and Sleepy Hollow (below bottom right) doesn’t mean they aren’t great all-year-round colors to delight and enjoy. The TRICK is to get these spookilicious TREATS before they, like Casper the Ghost and really great chocolate truffles, go POOF!

It’s Coming
Although the weather is not yet be frightful and the turkey hasn’t been bought or stuffed, we want you to know the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Ewe Ninjas of the biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year WILL have your back so stay tuned to this same sheep time, same sheep channel….

Want to know what The Ewe Crew is up to? 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 stitching, y’all!
The Ewe Crew