Friday, 31 October 2014

Holiday Gift Knitting Gets Scrumptious!

It's that time of year where, if you're anything like us, the Christmas decorations starting to go in the shops has suddenly reminded us the it's gift knitting time. We've been inundated with requests for quick to knit patterns and any news of yarn on discount to get you knitting.

To help you out, here is our round up of some knitting patterns for unisex accessories, single skein wonders and chunky items that work up quickly to give amazing results. We also sent out a list of retailers currently offering discounts on the yarn last week and will continue to do so in the fortnightly newsletter as we run up to the Holiday season. So if you're not signed up for the newsletter, make sure you are soon because we will be packing it with sales, discounts, patterns ideas and events to keep you feeling in good spirits this season.

These single skein knitted hat patterns might be just the thing you need for your colleagues and loved ones.
Arncott by Jen Arnall-Culliford
The perfect unisex knitted hat, Arncott is worked up in Scrumptious 4ply. It's even photographed in the perfect Christmas colourway: Cherry Red!

Kenwyn by Rachel Coopey
The Kenwyn Hat featured in The Scrumptious Collection Volume 3 (which is currently 20% off the whole collection on Ravelry with the code TBTScrumptious3- ends at midnight). Worked up in Scrumptious Aran, this works up fast for a beautiful textured hat.

There's just enough time to work up some heavier weight garments for you (hey, who doesn't want to gift themselves a sweater??) or your loved ones for Christmas.
Uffington by Jeni Hewlett
The perfect sweater vest- quick, a little detail and a feminine finish, Uffington calls for Scrumptious Chunky, our bulky weight luxury yarn.
Larigan by Amanda Crawford
Larigan is a beautiful cowl-neck sweater, with cosy moss stitch cuffs and all-over cable pattern. This is another quick knit from The Scrumptious Collection Volume 3 so go use that code to get knitting!

Gloves/ Mittens:
These are always welcome for all the family!
Hendred Mittens by Elly Doyle
Unisex, simple and warm these Hendred Mittens are a perfect single skein knitting pattern for Holiday knitting.
Hinksey by Lily Kate France
We love Hinksey Mittens as our go to mitten pattern for gifts. Beautiful cables make interesting detail while keeping the pattern simple enough to be unisex.

Shawls and Special Knits:
Sometimes you want to push the boat out. If you're pushed for time, these simple knits should get you great results without the headache.
Childry by Elly Doyle
Childry is our incredibly popular single skein shawl pattern. Ruffles, potato chip knitting and fast results. Perfect.
Sonning by Jen Arnall Culliford
Sonning is a shawl with interesting construction: the two side triangles are knitted first and are joined together with a delicate lace and twisted stitch panel. This means a large shawl that is easy travel knitting meaning you can double your knitting time!

Chunky Knits:
Fast and effective for when time is feeling a little tight.
Cogges Handwarmers by Jeni Hewlett
Cogges Handwarmers. These single skein chunky warmers are perfect for beginners wishing to try their hand at cables.
Rock Lea by Judy Furlong
Rock Lea is a fast and warm scarf pattern with cables and texture that maintain interest when knitting to give a perfect comforting gift. Another pattern from Volume 3- have we convinced you to purchase it yet?

Whatever you knit up in Scrumptious or from the Collections, please do come and show us in the Ravelry group. It's always great to hear what you're working on!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Cumulus Launch at Stash Fine Yarns

It's always exciting when one of our retailers tells us that they want more Fyberspates yarns. It feels good to send boxes of our luxury yarns out with pattern support and see them knit up all over the world. Sometimes sending a box isn't enough though so we're going to have a launch at Stash Fine Yarns to celebrate the launch of Cumulus!

Join us and the Stash Fine Yarns team on Saturday 15th November 11am-4pm for the launch of the new Fyberspates Cumulus yarn, our 74% Baby Suri Alpaca and 26% Silk blend that comes in 25g balls of 150 metres [164 yards]. Stash have been Fyberspates retailers for a while now and it's such a pleasure to see them expand their range to include Cumulus.

You will find Cumulus in all of our well-loved jewel tones as well as a special palette of soft colours specifically developed for this yarn, Cumulus is perfect for fine accessories and garments and so we'll be bringing all the Cumulus samples of knitting patterns we've launched so far. 

Modra Pullover 
So pop it in your diaries, bring a friend and come celebrate with us. There will be samples to try on, yarn to try out and plenty of people on hand to help you decide your best project. Maybe you can even drop some not-so-subtle hints to your loved ones about the perfect Christmas present you'd like to open on Christmas day- a pattern and delicately soft yarn, ready to cast on! There will be refreshments on hand and you can get any further details you might need by contacting Stash Fine Yarns directly

See you there?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Round Up: Blog Loving!

Welcome to the new home of Fyberspates blogging!

To kick us off, we're recommending some essential reading from some of our favourite blogs from our retailers:

Best for How To's = LoveKnitting. Amongst other great features, we love the how to's and tutorials that are helping show you some of the best knitting techniques in a really visual and easy to understand way. Perfect for beginner knitters and crafters.

Best for Knitting Community = This is Knit. A great blog that contains everything you need to know about this lovely Irish shop, it's surroundings and community. A lovely read with a cup of tea!

Best for Interviews and Features = Knit with Attitude. From WoolandtheGang to the latest happening in London, Maya B brings as many insights as possible into our favourite members of the knit community with a particular focus on sustainability and ethical fashion.

Best Eye Candy/ Inspirational = Tity Tyy. Everything about this blog just makes us want to knit, stash, crochet and more. A really inspirational blog that is worth adding to your RSS for the endless ideas and blissful pictures.

Best for Pattern Ideas = Wereldwol. Each product that's stocked at this lovely store gets a full feature on a regular basis with fresh ideas for what to make. It certainly keeps us crafting!

So what's your favourite blog? Have you been following a great knitting blogger for a while you'd like to tell us about? Let us know over on Facebook- we're about to collect some of our favourites!

Vivacious Lyde Beret in 'Deep Forest'

pssstttt last few hours to grab the Vivacious Lyde Beret while it's still 50% off!

Guest Post: Exterminate!

There's been a great reaction to our knitting pattern relaunches in Vivacious and Gleem colours and it's made us think about some of the ways in which our patterns get reinterpreted by talented crafters. We invited Rhian of The Crafty Geek to talk us through her really fun interpretation of one of those patterns. Rhian is a blogger, writer, editor and designer in the fibre industry so she certainly knows her way around colourwork and knitting!
If you would like to win any of our relaunched patterns, you still have a chance if you head over to the Ravelry group and check out how to enter. Hurry- the competition ends this afternoon!
"One of the best things about knitting is that you’re not constrained to what’s popular or fashionable, or what designs are in the shops. As knitters we’re free to make our own clothes – to choose from patterns designed all over the globe, to carefully pick out the colours and yarns we like the best, and, if we wish, to tweak those patterns to suit ourselves, from adding length, ease or waist shaping to including or adapting colourwork or textured patterns.
Challow in the original Scrumptious 4ply
When I first saw Jeni’s gorgeous Challow design, I fell in love with the drape and the shaping of the garment, as well as the pretty colourwork around the yoke. But although I knew I would love and wear the original design, I couldn’t resist making it even more... me.
Challow sweater in Vivacious (1)
Vivacious Challow from this week's relaunch
I’m a self-confessed sci-fi geek, and one of my favourite programmes is Doctor Who, both the old show and the new. I’d seen the huge range of Who-inspired knits out there, and even knit a couple. So I couldn’t resist the little voice inside me saying “you know... you could swap that butterfly for a Dalek.”
And so I set to work.

I wasn’t convinced I could chart a Dalek by myself, so I turned to a design I’d made before: the Exfoliate pattern by Penwiper. This uses bobbles and purl stitches to create a textured Dalek, but it’s clear from the chart that it would work just as well as a colourwork design.

The easiest way to make the switch would be to do a straight swap in terms of the size of the motif. The original butterfly is 13 stitches across, and 13 high – but the actual chart, including borders,is 27 stitches high, so I knew I had this to play with without having to make any radical changes to the design! I played around with the chart of the Dalek and was able to crop it to 13 stitches wide by simply straightening the back. I tweaked the rest of the design a little, removing two of the horizontal lines to bring the design down to 22 rows high. This was too big to just replace the butterfly, but not tall enough to replace the whole of the chart with the borders. I decided that the solid lines at the base of the Daleks would create a strong line across the sweater to replace the bottom border, and I tweaked the top border slightly to run above my Daleks.
Rhian's amazing rework in Scrumptious 4ply
I was pleased to find I still had a gap between the top of the Dalek and the top border – in the pattern, this is where the short rows are placed to raise the back of the sweater. If my pattern had covered those rounds, I’d have either had to distort the colourwork or move the shaping, possibly affecting the fit of the top, so I’m glad that wasn’t the case! And now when I wear it, it’s an easy way to tell which is the front and which is the back – the back has a larger gap between the top of the Daleks and the border.
Having finalised my basic chart and ensured it would fit, I was left with one more challenge before casting on. The original butterfly design is symmetrical, but the Dalek is facing side-on. There are a number of ways to deal with this – I could have had all the Daleks facing the same way around the whole top, or I could possibly have mirrored them down the middle of the sweater. For the size I was working, the chart was repeated 20 times around – an even number. Because of this I decided to work the Daleks in pairs, groups of two facing each other. If I’d been working a size with an odd number of chart repeats, I would have had to choose a different arrangement, or worked fewer repeats with a gap in between each one.
Rhian's sweater in all it's glory
With all that decided, all I had left to do was knit the top! It was an easy knit; the body and sleeves were very straightforward in-the-round knitting, with the colourwork at the end to keep things interesting. I was very nervous about how it would actually look when I was done – I have to shamefacedly admit I never swatched the design, just waited to see how it looked knitted all around the yoke. Bad knitter! But it worked better than I could have imagined, and always draws attention and compliments when worn. I love having a top that’s so very, very “me” (with thanks to Jeni and Penwiper), and currently have plans to adapt several more knitting patterns in a geeky way."

Hands up for Autumn!

Well this week was decidedly cold and wet here in the UK. We spent much of the week peeling warm layers on and off, relearning how to work our central heating thermostats and grabbing plenty of warming brews! Here's a round up of some of our favourite fingerless mitt patterns that call for Fyberspates yarn- get knitting!
(c) Liz Corke
We love these Beira Mitts by Liz Corke. Originally worked up in Rural Charm by Fyberspates, we think Vivacious or Scrumptious 4ply would be the perfect substitute. The mitts are super stretchy due to the twisted rib and will fit most teens and women and it’s easy to adjust the size. The twisted rib means they will fit with plenty of negative ease. If you want to make the gloves a different size, you can simply add or remove extra ribbing from the palm.
(c) Ella Austin
Perhaps you're in the mood for something intricate and a tad challenging? These Leighton House Handwarmers are incredible by Ella Austin and call for jewel tones of Scrumptious Lace. Ella's patterns are always beautifully presented and with easy to follow instructions, this colourwork would be as fun to knit as it would be to wear!
(c) Ysolda
These Sherbet Mitts by Ysolda Teague feature in the Saturday Treat collection, an exclusive collaboration with Fyberspates. This pattern takes advantage of the crisp stitch definition of Scrumptious 4ply and the light reflecting silk emphasises the strong relief effect and different textures between the sections worked in reverse stockinette and garter stitch.
(c) Fyberspates
For beginners who are just starting to move away from plain knit stitch, Claudya are the perfect next step to learning a few more stitches and completing a project to wear! Knit flat before blocking and seaming, these mittens combine simple stitches and scrumptious yarn to keep hands warm while still leaving fingers free to wiggle! This pattern calls for just a single skein of Scrumptious DK/Worsted.
(c) Fyberspates
These intricately crocheted mitts call for one skein of Vivacious 4ply and brilliantly showcase the handdyed nature of the yarn. The Dragonscale Gloves by Rachel Barlow contain the notes, "the palm is made using a flatter stitch so that the scales won’t get in the way when typing or hugging hot chocolate mugs"- a girl of our own hearts!
(c) Inspiration Knits
These Raymi mitts by Inspiration Knits with sun-ray ribs brighten the greyest of days. Ideal for vacation knitting, you can make a beautiful pair of Leave These To Me another fab fingerless mitt pattern) and a pair of Raymi from one 100g skein of Vivacious 4ply, and they’re on the same size needles too. This way you get two different projects to keep you entertained while you’re away, packed in the space for one project. It’s a fantastic alternative to one pair of vacation socks, don’t you think?

Whatever you decide, we hope your hands are snuggly and your days filled with crunchy leaves and warming drinks. More next week!

pppsssttttt! Keep an eye on our Ravelry group as there's a giveaway coming up to celebrate a release very soon. If you never want to miss a giveaway or new release, don't forget to sign up to our newsletter!

We're LIVE!

Following the huge response to our competition, our two Cumulus patterns are live on Ravelry and winging their way to retailers for you to snap up and get knitting. Newsletter subscribers should check their inboxes too for their exclusive 20% discount code when purchasing either of these patterns psssst! Never miss out on a special discount or promotion again, sign up is here).
Both of these patterns are designed by the very talented Vladimira Ilkovicov of Vadis Designs for Fyberspates. Our patterns feature schematics and details of fit to help you choose your size and includes both written as well as charted instructions.
(c) Fyberspates
The Modra Pullover is a cute, fitted sweater, knitted in Cumulus yarn. Worked flat before it is blocked and seamed together, this sweater looks best with no ease to show off the delicate lace detail that features in the body of this sweater and is echoed in the sleeves. Waist shaping is worked to add flattering shape to this feminine garment.
(c) Fyberspates
Size ranges are multisized to include a range of sizes from a bust size of 32 inches through to 50 inches with an actual bust size of 32 1⁄4 to 50 1⁄2 inches. Work up the closest size to your bust measurement with minimal ease for a snug and flattering fit.
This smallest size of this sweater only requires 5 balls of Cumulus thanks to the light airy gauge it is worked up in. Shown here in the Teal colourway, the yardage requirements run from 5 x 25g balls of Cumulus to 9 x 25g balls of Cumulus Yarn.

Perhaps a shrug seems more appealing with this inconsistent Autumnal weather?
(c) Fyberspates
The Aowena Shrug is a pretty, lightweight shoulder cover, with a simple and effective lace pattern for a little added glamour that is also designed by Vladimira. This shrug is worked flat before being seamed during finishing and with easy to follow charts and simple stitch repeats this makes it a perfect beginner’s lace project or ideal for knit night chatter for the more experienced knitter who needs a little stitch interest to hold their attention.
(c) Fyberspates
Aowena is multisized: S, M, L and XL with the smallest size only requiring 3 balls of Cumulus. Cumulus can be bought at a wide range of retailers and the pattern is available both in print from retailers and via Ravelry as part of the instore sales program. So whether you grab it today at home or use it as an excuse to visit your local store, you’ve got everything you need to get knitting.
- Have a great week!

Guest Post: Colour Choices with Celtic Cast On

Since launching our Cumulus patterns, we've been thinking a lot about colour. Did you know that when we developed this latest addition to the Fyberspates range, we selected a colour palette based on its cloudlike structure? As well as the usual jewel tones we're known and loved for, we wanted something soft and with a few more neutrals to complement the tone and character of this silky yarn with a great halo.
We are so excited to share this guest post today from Kelly of Celtic Cast On, a blogger with a huge reputation for great choices in colour when working up her wonderful knitwear. She's going to talk you through choosing colours to help you make patterns like the Aolani mitts really shine.

Take it away Kelly!
Choosing colours for your next knitting project can be just as fun as the actual act of knitting.
My mind usually bounces to the colour I picture knitting a project in but sometimes I get, should we say, Colour Block? More often than not this happens when using more than one colour in the same project. When we start talking about 3 or more colours things get a little daunting.
How do you know what colours will complement each other? How can they look so great side by side in the ball and then not work together when knit up?
Lets look at the three main principles of Colour Theory and apply it to the Cumulus yarn collection by Fyberspates.
The easiest and most obvious choice for me would be to choose colours that stay in the same colour family, a gradient or Analogous. For example Moonlight, Teal and Sea Green  in Culumus make a lovely combination.
Cumulus greens
Sea Green, Water and Teal
Or Sea green, water and teal that were used in the Aolani pattern.
Mittens 1 S
ComplementaryIf we want to get more adventurous and use another principle of colour theory, it states that two colours opposite each other on the colour wheel will always be harmonious or complementary.  My eye automatically jumps to Rust (a warm colour) and Teal (a cool colour),opposites do attract.

Rust teal collage
Split Complementary 
The last principle is Split Complementary. You choose a colour on the wheel, look across to its complementary colour but use the colour on either side of the complement.
Split complementary
Teal, Rust and Ruby Red.
If all this seems a little overwhelming there are a few quick tricks you can fall back on when you are experiencing a Colour Block.
  • Find inspiration . i.e. Pinterest - There are tons of gorgeous colour combo's on the web that you can use to help you. Find a picture on instagram that appeals to you, pull a couple of colours that you like, keeping in mind which colours will complement each other.
  • Rummage through your stash and find colours you think will work together. It is always a good idea to do a swatch with your intended colours. Take a picture of your swatch using the black and white filter on your phone or edit a picture from your camera to black and white in a photo editor. You will know right away if there is enough contrast between your colours or if they are blending together too much. You should be able to see your colour work pattern even though the picture is black and white.
When it comes to colour, don't be afraid to explore and try different colour combinations.
There are so many possibilities!

Pattern Preview!

Introducing two new patterns to be launched on Monday 6th October 2014 from Fyberspates.
(c) Fyberspates
The Modra Pullover is a cute, fitted sweater, knitted in Cumulus yarn by Fyberspates. Worked flat before it is blocked and seamed together, this sweater looks best with no ease to show off the delicate lace detail that features in the body of this sweater and is echoed in the sleeves.

(c) Fyberspates
The Aowena Shrug is a pretty, lightweight shoulder cover, with a simple and effective lace pattern for a little added glamour. Worked up in luxurious Cumulus, a Baby Suri Alpaca and Mulberry Silk blend from Fyberspates, Aowena comes in 4 sizes: S, M, L and XL. This shrug is worked flat before being seamed during finishing and with easy to follow charts and simple stitch repeats this makes it a perfect beginner’s lace project or ideal for knit night chatter for the more experienced knitter who needs a little stitch interest to hold their attention.

To celebrate these soon to be released patterns, we’re hosting a competition. All you have to do is go to the pattern pages of either pattern on Ravelry and tell us the unique blend that creates our Cumulus yarn so incredibly soft! Leave a comment on the relevant post on Facebook by midday BST Monday 6th October and you can win the pattern and yarn to make whichever of these patterns you most want to make! Good Luck!