Friday, 9 October 2015

Knit Play Colour!

We love to see unique new books from indie designers here at Fyberspates so we were really excited to be included on the blog tour for Louise Zass-Bangham of Inspiration Knits interesting new book; Knit Play Colour.

The idea behind Louise's new book is not just to give knitters a strict set of instructions to follow, but to encourage them to be a bit more adventurous and make the projects their own.  With a collection of ten patterns for cowls, shawls and even a cosy blanket, this book could help to give you a little nudge out of your comfort zone and try something a little different. 

This colourful cowl uses four shades of Cumulus (Moonlight, Bottle Green, Magenta and Turquoise) and traditional undulating Old Shale lace. 

There are lots of ideas included for how to make the patterns work with different types and weights of yarn as well as adding beads, working extra pattern repeats and advice on choosing colour combinations that will really make your projects shine.  The book is really clearly laid out and many of the versions of each pattern are photographed together showing just how much of a difference your yarn choices can make.  It's a really nice idea which reminded me of my habit of browsing Ravelry projects when I'm choosing a pattern to help me decide on yarns.  You could have so much fun making different versions of the designs to suit different people, perfect for knitting gifts for the festive season and beyond! 

Most of the projects can be knitted with just a couple of skeins so they'd be perfect to make as a guilt free new project or for using that odd variegated skein in your stash you've been waiting for just the right pattern to use with. 

I had a really hard time picking out my favourite design and yarn combination from all the different variations in the book, but in the end I chose this lovely version of the Affinity shawl, knitted using Cumulus and Scrumptious 4ply both in Water.  While the other versions of this pattern use bright semi-solid and variegated yarns for a bold fun look, the self-coloured stripes of this version teamed with a few beads give the shawl really sophisticated vibe, making it the perfect finishing touch to an outfit. 

I've been thinking about some of the other possibilities for colour combinations like this one.  If you want to go for a bold bright look, how about using the Magenta shade in both yarns, or Jen's Green in Scrumptious 4ply and Bottle Green in Cumulus?  If you prefer deeper shades, how about Scrumptious in Cherry and Cumulus in Ruby Red or Teal Scrumptious with Cumulus in Moonlight?  Or you could even combine a paler shade of Scrumptious like our new Glisten shade with Cumulus in Silver or a couple of paler shades like Oyster and Camel for a pretty, delicate effect.

Louise has kindly offered us a digital copy of Knit Play Colour to give away! 

To have a chance to win, leave a comment telling us your favourite design from the book and which Fyberspates yarns you would knit it in before midnight UK time  on Friday 16th October 2015.  You can see all the designs in the book on Ravelry here.  Good luck!  :)

Louise is also hosting a knitalong for the book in her Raverly group, check it out here

The next stop on the blog tour is Sweet Georgia Yarns on Monday. 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Super Socks!

Having sold sock yarn for the past 10 years, intact it was the first every type of yarn I sold. I have encountered many many people who do not have the confidence to knit socks, countless times I’ve explained to people, “just have a go, its not really that hard”, I would go into the joys of knitting socks to my customers, and then struggled to suggest a resource which I felt comfortable with suggesting, which wouldn’t end up with my customers being absolutely frustrated and emailing me with questions, however…I  I think I’ve found one!

Today I’m reviewing Super Socks by Winwick Mum. This is a self published book which is aimed at the very beginner sock knitter, if you’ve never knitted socks and are afraid to try, or just always wanted to have a go, but haven’t had the chance yet, you are a Yarn store owner and you want to suggest something to your customers to help them, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! I wish I had this to recommend 10 years ago, I could have comfortably introduced 1000’s more people into sock knitting by now.

So what is it about this book thats going to help us learn to make socks?

This book is well presented in a relaxed and chatty style, and makes for really easy reading. The photos are lovely and clear which for me is the most important thing, I do love a good picture tutorial!

The book doesn’t assume you have a lot of knowledge about sock knitting, which was refreshing, it covers all the kinds of questions that my customers would ask, and things they would worry about. So for example, cast-ons for a stretchy opening, how to make sure your socks match when using patterned yarn, swatching in the round with great pictures in detail to make sure your tension is correct, and what I really like is the tutorials that walk you through using different types of needles, dpn’s, magic loop and small circulars, even though I knit socks mindlessly, I learnt quite a few things, and I will be keeping this book to refer back to. Whilst there is a cross over with some of the tutorials already posted on the blog, its great to have a resource you can tuck into your knitting back and have with you at all times, I much prefer to have the information at my finger tips.

I really feel like with this book your first sock knitting experience would be very enjoyable and productive, with all your questions answered. On that theme is that WM also has a Sockalong to accompany and help guide people through their knitting sock process, her facebook group is Here where you can ask questions and get help if you need any, Ravelry group is here, and even a flikr group with a gallery of finished socks.

Where can you buy the book? From here on Amazon and you can even download it onto your Kindle!

Winwick Mum Lives in Winwick, a small village in Cheshire, her blog is where she writes about what makes her happy: her family, knitting, gardening, home-making, enjoying the outdoors.

She is also doing an awesome Sockline for Yarndale.. take a look at the post here and here :) 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Super clever fixings! Shawl Pins and Leather closures.

I love buttons and closures, and I always think that the quality and look of them can make or break a freshly knitted Garment. We spend hours and hours knitting/crocheting  something special, its the least we can do to use a delicious fixing to compliment the work thats gone into it. Not only that to add a gorgeous shawl pin to a shawl makes the most PERFECT present. In my show days I could not get enough shawl pins to sell, especially metal ones, beautifully crafted shawl pins are hard to come by, so when we had the chance to distribute JUL Designs, I jumped at the chance.

This is some of the shawl pins we will be distributing, aren't they just divine?

But what I really wanted to tell you about was the leather fixings and just how clever they are...
These fixings are great, you can use them to change the way your knitwear is styled by removing them and putting them back on again, you can change the style by using different fixings or colours, or simply move them onto new knitwear, they are fabulous!

Here's how to use them:

1. This is what the button looks like Back and Front:

You unscrew the back to take it apart like this:

Push the large piece through the knitwear like so: (showing the front)

The back looks like this:

Pop the smaller leather piece on:

And screw in the fixing to close it:

This can be undone and moved at any time.

JUL DESIGNS has all sorts of wonderful versions of these these are just a few:

If you are interested in retailing these or are a designer and would like to use these in your designs, please drop me an email.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Carol Feller Mithral Knitalong!

We are really excited this year to be part of Carol Fellers yearly knit along. She is using Cumulus for this stunning sweater, and its super economical, it only takes from 6 - 8 balls! Lottie and I are still deciding which colours to knit ours in, I expect mine will be in water which is my fav colour in Cumulus.

The knit along is now available to sign up to, and starts on the 1st of October, meaning you have time to take a look at the pattern info, figure out how much yarn you need, and on Carols page is a list of official stockists taking part in the Kal. Most shops are offering a discount on Cumulus for this Kal.

You can sign up with one of the official stockists, OR you can sign up with Carol, which ever works for you.

We will post more throughout the month and our progress on our won Mithral sweaters, if you want to read all about it, take a look here for all the details. Or feel free to email us at FyberspatesATbtinternetDOTcom

Happy knitting

Monday, 13 July 2015

Building the studio

This year Rachel Coopey and I decided to add on a little extra to our TNNA visit. We decided to go to Squam. It has always been a dream of mine since I read about it on the Soulemama blog.
It was everything I dreamed it would be, it was a creative and spiritual haven, we both found it really inspiring. I took two classes, two very different classes, one was called Turn the page, which was very special for me, I was quite nervous about it really, but I didn't need to be, our teacher Colleen was a treasure, and I relished the chance to do something very different.

The other class I took was Tools with Terri, this was a super duper class which basically gave me the chance to try out and learn how to use tools, tools which I had always wanted to use, but needed a little confidence to try. Terri's house is amazing, her workshop is amazing, I left completely inspired.

Last Thursday I bit the bullet and bought a mitre saw and some sanders, set it all up, and made a little project to get me started.. ridiculously simple, but it was enough to satisfy the craving, get used to the machinery, and get going...

You might at this point think what the hell does this have to do with knitting? Well its sort of does lol!

So, in my new house I work at the kitchen table, as you can imagine, there is yarn everywhere, infact as I look now, there is yarn, notes, a chunky hat, a sweater, some swatches, its a mess and I'll have to eat dinner on the sofa again.. so I need a new space to work, especially since soon Lottieknits will be working with me pretty much full time, which is super exciting and so we need a nice space to work in, plus if we have visitors we need to have somewhere they can come for meetings, and lets be honest, I just need to keep my kitchen tidy!

SO above the garage was a room, all painted grey and black, we painted it white and all the woodwork a beach blue, and its gorgeous. To match this theme I wanted beach wood looking furniture, and having a budget of zero, I thought I had better have a go at making some. We need shelves/cubby holes to put things in, so I looked on pinterest and found something super simple to construct.. and then I made these:

They are pretty basic, BUT they are perfect for putting patterns and books in for now. Next project is to make some storage for under the gridwalling, but these need doors and hinges so need a bit more planning... but I can feel the call of the saws... ;)

Friday, 3 July 2015

Carol Feller Knitalong in Cumulus

We are very excited to be working with Carol Feller on her yearly knit along which this year is using Cumulus.

What's the advantage as a yarn shop to take part in this?

1. We are offering a incentive to stock Cumulus for this knit along
2. You can preorder exactly what you need for the signups you have got.
3. The knit along is fully supported by Carol, and you get a kit of materials to use in your shop to help the knit along.
4. Its a great way to try a new yarn and for your customers to knit something beautiful at a great price.
5. Carol will list you as a potential stockist when you sign up.

This beautiful sweater  is very economical in the yarn quantities, and gives you as a shop owner an opportunity to try Cumulus if you haven't tried it before.

This is the first time Carol is working alongside yarn shops for one of her hugely popular knit-alongs, and we are really pleased to be part of it.

How does it work for you as a yarn shop?
Carol has been running her highly popular sweater knit-alongs  (KALs) for several years, giving knitter’s the tools they need to produce a fantastic looking sweater. Carol’s KALs are a wonderful way to learn new skills, make new knitting friends, and support your business in growing an engaged community of knitters. 

To begin with the KAL is put on pre-sale a month before the first clue to allow knitters to gather their yarn and swatch. This is an opportunity for you to join the excitement and offer your knitters something exciting to work on together. When you sign up as an official retailer, you will receive a number of codes for the digital version of the pattern (at a wholesale price) that you can sell to your customers. We (Fyberspates) supply you with recommended yarn Cumulus, please email us for more details on fyberspates @  

Then the KAL consists of as a series of 4 clues, with one released every 2 weeks. Each clue contains the next part of the pattern, a section on modification tips, and links to online tutorials for any tricky sections. This material will be available to share on your own channels such as Facebook and Carol will be sending a retailers newsletter to help you support customers with each clue and find materials you might need. 

For previous KAL details and more information, please visit here (

If you would like to take part in this exciting project with is, please email me on fyberspates @

Jeni x

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The chicken or the yellow egg....

Last night I washed my beehive ready for its new residents which arrive in the post today (yup, they get delivered by Royal mail!) I posted a picture of its gleaming yellow cheerfulness on Instagram and Facebook, and people were amused to see a beehive which as rather different to the traditional wooden houses we are used to seeing. In addition to looking like something space aged, its also bright yellow, not any yellow, but my favourite  sunshine yellow.

My Beehaus double beehive

I mused briefly that it was just the perfect yellow. 

When I woke up this morning, I glanced down the bed and realised... ahh, yes my bed covers are also my favourite shade of yellow....

Walked down stairs... my knitting.... highly influenced by my seeming obsession with yellow...

My Stephen west 'Askews me' shawl in Vivacious DK Sunshine, Slate & Tweed imps

I thought long and hard... what came first? did I see something that I loved that was yellow, dyed that into a yarn and then kept buying yellow things to match? Or was it the other way around... this yellow thing has been going on for at least 3 years now.. and it shows no sign of abating...

Ring and Ring from Vivacious Kids and my Featherweight in Nef 4ply.

I often notice colours and dye them.. and then it can sometimes become a serious obsession.... as serious as yellow can be anyway ;)

I highly recommend yellow in all its forms, you can't go wrong ;)

Friday, 24 April 2015

New Colours in Vivacious and Gleem & where you can purchase them from!

So this week we have been previewing our new colours in Vivacious and Gleem on Facebook and Instagram.

We decided to choose colours a little different to the current palette, but that would work perfectly for stripes contrasted with the brighter colours, and also add a softer more subtle dimension. I am so pleased with how the colours came out, its always hard when you are not dyeing yourself to make sure they are as nice as you would want them to be. This process was a little agonising for me, I went through rather alot of yarn getting the colours right. Once I had perfected the recipes and timings, the yarn went off to the dyers for them to match. When I got the trial samples back in the post I was ecstatic, they did such a beautiful job, and the colours were perfect.

So... I present to you a round up of this weeks previews the new 6 colours of Vivacious and Gleem!

We started with the only new bright addition, which went down a storm Crocus, if you know tweed imps, our most popular colour, the best way to describe it is a pink version of this, its has pinks purples and soft greens in it, I am not a pink person, but I LOVE IT.

Next up we have Pebble Beach, I love this so so much,  its something a little more subtle, here we venture into grey territory. Pebble Beach was one of my most requested hand dyed colours and so it was a no brainer to add this to the palette. Pebble beach is a soft mixture of sea foam blue and drift wood on a pebbly beach:

 For the next two I wanted proper greys, but there are many types of grey, and I think that sometimes different people suit different shades, so I produced 2, a cool and a warm, both would work great with stripes with other colours etc as well.

This photo using the gleem shows best the difference in the two colours:

Elly is wearing Hermes Baby from the Vivacious collection in Dove stone. Damn I love that hat!

Ok, so up next we have moving on from the grey, a green grey, this is called Lundy Island because it reminded me of the green rocks and landscape of Lundy Island. Stunning!

Again the difference in the different yarns always makes me happy, this colour in the Gleem is almost ethereal in nature, its the sort of colour I would call magic, because I can't quite grasp it and yet its mesmerising. We have a wonderful had fora future collection knitted in the DK in this colour and despite being slightly multi coloured, the cables pop like crazy.

Next up, is probably my favourite, its Verdigris, this colour just makes me think of the green bloom that occurs on Copper, its rich, dark and has a metallic quality. The fact I managed to get this colour in, after alot of practising makes me so so happy, I was worried we couldn't replicate it.

So the following shops have pre-ordered the new colours and will be stocking them:

I knit - London
Darnit & Stitch - Oxford


Wereldwol  - Netherlands
                                                Yarn Design & Co - Switzerland
 Selvstrik - Denmark
Strick & stick - Germany


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Fyberspates Yolks Competition Winners #fyberspatesyolks

We LOVED seeing the wonderful Yolks sweaters you made for the Fyberspates Yolks competition! There were some absolutely brilliant creative takes on the patterns, and our favourites and winners are as follows:

For the Instagram winner Minaknits made a super sweet sweater, plus we love the Easter themed Photo!!

Our twitter winner is without a doubt Miranda Shelley with her wonderful beaded Yolk sweater, I might just be making one of these!

For our facebook winner, I think it has to be Tina, she made a few sweaters, but I love the bow on this one, is so cute!

Finally and I think probably the most creative  sweater is this one, this was knitted by Kazafly on Ravelry, and its her Captains Jacket:

Isn't this just  brilliant??

If you would like the pattern for our Yolks egg cosies, you can download it for free here and we hope it will give you something to knit for your scraps of 4ply that makes your breakfast table looks fun and whimsical.

For more competitions, fun and find out what we are up to you can like & follow us on
Facebook here
Follow our shenanigans on Instagram here
On twitter here

Happy Knitting!
Jeni x

Friday, 3 April 2015

Palette - The perfect collection for those special hanks of hand dyed yarn.

We've all done it at some point; consumed with yarn fumes, we spot the most incredible skein of hand painted/hand dyed yarn at a show or in a shop, and we just can't resist. On one hand the skein is a piece of art in itself, on the other hand, the possibilities run through your head at a thousand thoughts a second. There is no option other than to buy it and take it home, it would literally be a crime to leave it on the shelf unappreciated!

Once its home, you put in your very favourite stash place, because lets face it, its risen to the top of the pile of the most coveted yarns in your stash.... (for now... until the next one!). We start to think about what it's going to be, we imagine it as a pair of socks... nah, its too nice for that, a shawl... well perhaps, but the colours might get lost on any lace patterning. That's where Louise comes in of Inspiration Knits, she has a talent and an eye (yes, she LOVES a pretty skein of yarn does Louise) for creating patterns that work super well with hand painted yarns, she uses simple stitch patterns and graceful shapes which allow the yarn to come to life and get the best out of your super special skein (or two) of yarn.

Her new collection Palette contains 2 patterns, Painted and Fresco, both perfect for using your special hand paints on.


Painted is perfect for that one skein of treasure you have, and Fresco is wonderful if you just happened to be tempted by those two skeins ;)

This is shown in our very own Vivacious 4ply, in Peacock, one of our more variegated colours in this range, as you can see the stitch patterns breaks up the colour changes really nicely:

Louise is hosting a KAL (knit along) here for this collection... I'm just off to stash dive right now, I know just the perfect skein...... ;)

Happy knitting
Jeni x

Friday, 13 March 2015

Spring Shawl Inspiration

How seasonal is your knitting?

New project plans seem to involve A LOT of shawls right now & we think it's because it's starting to feel a little like Spring in the UK. With that in mind, we thought we'd share some of our favourite shawls to knit with Fyberspates yarns ready for you to cast on this weekend!

1. Ishbel- by Ysolda Teague. Some say this is the best shawl for beginners to get to grips with lace patterns and we think it's a classic. Ysolda even has a tutorial on how to read charts for the first time if that is something that you find a little intimidating. 

2. Soleil d'Orby Nim Teasdale. This is a stunning shawl that calls for Gleem Lace and we think is perfect for a longer term project you want to sink your teeth into. 

3. Kaiholaby Heidi Alander calls for Vivacious DK and is a great shawl for this changeable time of year as it's a little heavier than most but not too warm. 

4. Truly- by Ann Kingstone. This combines the best of everything- stripes, some solid knitting and a little lace detail to keep our interest. Calls for Scrumptious 4ply. 

5. Melas- By Jacqui Hardy. We love how fairytale this crocheted Vivacious 4ply shawl is!

6. Etherow Shawl- by Anniken Allis. A deliciously huge but quick to work up shawl in Cumulus yarn. 

If you loved these, we've got shawl inspiration and techniques on our 'We Love Shawls' pinterest board. 

Do you knit more shawls in warmer weather?

Friday, 6 March 2015

Knitting and Crochet is good for you!

Here at Fyberspates, we always think it's handy to have a good excuse about our constant crafting. If you're in the same boat, this infographic about the benefits of knitting and crochet might be just what you need too!

So stitch on!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Designer Focus: Carol Feller

UK knitwear designer Carol Feller designs under the brand name Stolen Stitches and has a range of adult and children's knitting patterns as well accessories we love. Carol has been a Fyberspates fan for some time and the feeling is entirely mutual! So today we're offering a little pattern inspiration from this talented designer based in southern Ireland.

First, let's admire some of her shawls...

Captiva is worked from side to side with short row shaping to form a gentle curve and tapers to a tail making it wonderful for staying in place over your shoulder. Calls for Scrumptious DK.

Centrique is another Scrumptious DK accessory that uses a simple lace repeat so it would be suitable for a first shawl project. Fast and pretty, this shawl creates a simple and elegant piece that looks more complex than it is!

Flama has a delicate central lace panel and garter stitch outer panels. Worked from the bottom up, optional beads are added to the lace central panel. This shawl calls for Scrumptious Lace and is available in Carol's collaborative collection, Scrumptious Knits

The garments

Akoya is a versatile, stylish and flattering cardigan that was simple enough to be worn with just about everything. This cardigan keeps the basic styling simple, its short style is worn with negative ease, but small lace and cable details at the hem, cuff and neckline keep it interesting. Calls for Scrumptious 4ply. 

The Iceling jacket is easy to knit, with a top-down seamless construction. The large double breasted front collar is knit with two rows of buttons so it can grow with the child; when more room is needed the jacket can be fastened on the second row of buttons.Garter stitch bands at the wrist are designed to worn either folded up or left down, again making it ideal for fast-growing children. Uses Scrumptious Aran.

Ignus is another piece from the Scrumptious Knits collaboration. A hip length tunic has delicate cable details that complement the smooth flattering shape. Knit from the top down, with raglan shoulder shaping, the side cable detail has decreases worked down each side for smooth shaping. Calls for Scrumptious Aran. 

Want more Carol Feller? All patterns mentioned here are available for distribution via Fyberspates, direct Ravelry download or via Carol at Stolen Stitches. For our yarn retailers, please check here

Happy knitting!