Monthly Archives: February 2008

Icewine Mittens

One this quadrennial day, I release into the wide world the Icewine Mittens pattern!

Icewine Mittens -pdf
Icewine Mittens (.pfd)

You can read all about this pattern’s development in this post, and as always my patterns are listed together on my Patterns page.

Winter’s not over yet, so enjoy knitting these cozy colourwork mittens!

Icewine mitten tip

* * * * *
I’m not sure that it’s linked up properly in Ravelry yet, but hopefully that will sort itself out in time. (I hope to have a “Ravel it!” button up soon!)
And speaking of Ravelry, you can see Lady O‘s fantastic test-knit pair here.

I also can’t get the pre-generated code to work in WordPress, but this simple link does, so while the pattern is released for free, if you’d like to make a paypal donation for the download, I’d be very thankful!
Paypal Donation Link



Filed under free patterns, knitting, mitts, originals, Uncategorized

Gatsby Girl Redux

Remember the Gatsby Girl?

That great pattern published in IK Fall 2006 by my talented knitter/artist friend Jodi Green?

That sweater I had to reknit the sleeves about 75 times (or so)?

That little feminine number that looked oh-so good when I first tried it on?
The Great Gatsby Girl
Appearances can be deceptive…

That sweater, which upon washing, grew in size and broke my little heart? (Curses, gauge and superwash!! That’ll learn me to wash my swatches, won’t it?)

Yeah, that one…

Well, after several months balled up at the back of my wardrobe, the pendulum of it’s fate vacillating between ripping it out or consigning it to an oubliette for eternity, a glimmer of hope emerged. It may not fit me, but perhaps it would fit someone, right? I invested too much good knitting to have it go to nought. So the other night I threw it into my bag as I headed over to the PP.

Turns out that I knit Gatsby Girl in the perfect size, for Jennifer at least!
gatsby girl sweater on jennifer
(Even better, the Purl carries the brand of yarn from which I knit it!)

I still love that sweater. It makes me very happy that now, someone else can too!


Filed under FOs, knitting, lace, rambling, sweaters, Uncategorized

This and that

A sign I just might be a little bit preoccupied with this whole fibre thing:
I was writing an email to my department’s business manager today, and instead of typing “please let me know… ” I wrote “please let me knit…”. Obsessed? Me? Never.

* * * * *

I think I’ve come to a spindlemaking decision. The name I’m going with is….

FolkLore Fiberarts!

Thank you to everyone who helped me out from my wiffle-waffling. I really appreciate it! I know there were a lot of votes for the foxie-names, so don’t worry, I’m already thinking of ways to use them…

The spindle will go out to Mary, because she both succinctly framed good reasons to go with it in her comment, and because she de-lurked! (Got to encourage more comments somehow, right?!) Mary will be getting one of my little ‘signature’ spindles that look like this:

…only not right away, because my whorls are on backorder (grr). Which is super-annoying, because they seem to be in some demand these days! I’ve got to get more in to the Purple Purl, have had a blog-reader place an ‘order’ via email, and am going to do a swap with Ray (of Knitivity yarns!). These are exciting times!

An shop in in the works… Anybody out there happen to he handy with graphic design want to trade your skills for a spindle? Drop me a line!

I have already had to promise Dru that the whole spindleworks thing is under control, that I am not taking on too much and know exactly what I’m up to. I hope I am right…

* * * * *

I made a hat! It’s pretty damn boring, other than I used 1 skein of that great “autumno” merino yarn I just received. I followed in Lady O‘s footsteps and pretty much just riffed off of my tea cozy pattern (I didn’t include the spout hole, of course!)

autmno hat
I think I’ll make a little one just for me next.

I’m hoping it will keep my “little” brother’s head nice and toasty when he’s back in the Yukon. It sure was nice to see him over the weekend, though, and I’m glad I was able to send him home with something I knit — last I saw him, I gave his girlfriend a warm pair of merino-silk socks, and apparently she’s been making inroads teaching herself to knit now!

* * * * *

I’ve been knitting some new Monkey socks, but I’m not sure if I’m liking the way the yarn’s pooling/striping…
monkey socks
Indigo Moon sock yarn, “Moonlight on the Mountains”

I’ve knit a few more repeats, and now instead of doing the little swirl/stripes as it did in the ribbing, it’s pretty much doing large vertical “stripes”. They’re just not doing it for me now. I may just rip it out and try with a slightly looser gauge. What do you think?

I’ve also been spinning on my new Joy wheel (and what a joy it is!), but it’s way to dark to take photos now. So let’s just leave that for next time, shall we?
And stay tuned — I’m hoping to release the Icewine pattern on February 29th!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, FOs, knitting, rambling, Uncategorized

Eye-of-Partridge Shawl

Consider this lace-weight yarn liberated.

eye of partridge shawl

Eye of Partridge Shawl, 100% cashmere.

eye of partridge shawl -- back view

Back view: shoulder shawl.

eye of partridge shawl-- front view
How I’ll wear it most, with the point front-facing, tucked into my coat.

eye of partridge shawl -- stitch texture
Love that stitch texture!

This is a dead-simple triangular shawl that takes full advantage of eye-of-partridge stitch, creating a cozy double-thick fabric with subtle, elegant diagonals. Due to the alternating slipped stitches, this pattern also makes the colours in variegated yarns “pop” dramatically, and helps eliminate pooling.

I used one single skein of Handmaiden 100% cashmere 2-ply (lace-weight) yarn, in the colourway “Mineral” (274m/50g), and 3.75mm Addi Lace needles (80cm circular).

Eye of Partridge Shawl Pattern

Cast on 2 sts.
Set-up rows:
R1: Knit into the front and back of both stitches. (4 total)
R2: K2, yo, k2 (5)
R3: K2, p1, k2
R4: K2, yo, k1, yo, k2 (7)
R5: K2, p3, K2
R6: K2, yo, k1, sl1, k1, yo, k2 (9)
R7: K2, p5, k2

Pattern rows:
Even rows (RS): K2, yo, *k1, sl1* to last 3 sts, k1, yo, k2
Odd rows (WS): K2, purl to last 2 sts, k2

Repeat pattern rows until you get sick of it, or begin to worry about running out of yarn.

How I ended this:
Last even row: K2, yo, *k2og, yo*, end k2
Last odd row: K2, purl to last 2 sts, k2
Cast-off row: Russian bind-off (k2, k2tog with these 2 stitches, *k1, pass previous k2tog st back, k2tog*).
This edge curls. If you don’t like that, then I’d probably just work several rows of garter stitch and bind off loosely.
Fancy-pants among you could also chose to finish with a small knit-on lace border.

* * * * *
I enjoyed knitting this so much that I’m considering casting-on an eye-of-partridge cowl now: the plan would be to cast on a large, even number of stitches, *k1, sl1* for one round, knit all for one round, *sl1, k1* for the next round, then knit all… and repeat until I run out of yarn. (Some of you out there might be pleased to note that this iteration would involve no purling whatsoever.)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.


Filed under FOs, free patterns, knitting, lace, shawls


It’s been one whole year since I cracked post and started posting. This is, contrary to the title, just another knitblog, but I’m loving it still!

So many things have a happened, both in my fibre-crafting and ‘real’ life, over the past year! When I started this, I mostly wanted a place to feel like I was more than just a voyeur of other knit-bloggers, an ‘address’ that I could leave with comments to prove I ‘existed’ too. Never did I expect the true depth of the community that is bridged by our blogs. I wish I could find a way to thank each and every blogger who I read, each and every reader who leaves a comment (and even those shy ones who never do!), for truly enriching my life.

I love the connection to you all with our words and our craft. I love that I have made friends — real, genuine friendships — with people I have never met. I truly believe blogging has even pushed me to get out and meet other knitters in person: now I can’t imagine weeks passing without heading to knitnights at my LYSs!

I also love how much knowledge is shared here. I have learnt so very much, from tips and tricks to brand new techniques. I hope I have even given some of my own knowledge back. (Look for some new patterns coming soon!) Seeing other people’s projects are so inspiring; even the ones that don’t work out provide encouragement through commiseration! Every bit helps me push myself in new directions, to try new yarns, patterns, skills…

Spinning is another development. Who could have known, when I hadn’t even made my first spindle a year ago? Here I am now: teaching at an LYS, the proud owner of 2 wheels, more pretty fibre than I can properly house, and several fleeces. I am still deeply in love with spinning, feeling a connection to it that seems to originate somewhere close to my core. Would I have never started spinning if I hadn’t also started blogging, I wonder…

Spindle-making is looking like it’s growing, too… I really need to get myself a name! What do you think about these?

a) FolkLore Fibercrafts
b) FoxFay Fiberarts
d) Sionnach Spindleworks
d) Silver Fox Spindles
e) (your suggestion here)

My offer still stands to send a spindle to someone who comments about this — I just need help picking something!


Filed under meta-blogging, rambling

Comfort and Joy

* * * Comfort * * *
Apparently the good people at Canada Post still have to work on Family Day — my Mmm… Hot Cocoa swap package was delivered to my door this morning!

What’s in the box?
package -open

A whole host of winter-blues-busting treats!
cocoaswap package

Meet Harry the Hedgie, who came with a lovely note of introduction.
harry hedgehog

Some awesome foxie stitch-markers!
fox stitchmarkers

Super-soft merino yarn:

KnitPicks Harmony needles, size 3.5mm (I sense I am on the precipice of a very slippery lope , here!)
harmony needles

Mmm… organic chocolate, and gourmet fudge-sauce/hot chocolate decadence!
organic chocolate chocolate sauce

Thanks Deb!

* * * Joy * * *

The gods of spinning really do have a way of aligning things just so. Through an amazing series of potentials and possibilities*, this weekend I have taken home this:

Joy - bag Joy - opened Joy wheel
Ashford Joy portable spinning wheel, double treadle.

She’s come with a great carry bag, 6(!) Ashford bobbins, a repair kit, and…
woolee winder
A WooLee Winder, complete with 4 bobbins.

I can’t believe this wheel is now mine!

2 spinning wheels
My two wheels: Fortuna, and the new (as yet unnamed) Joy.

Pardon me, I have to go drink hot chocolate and spin now…

*I’ll tell the whole tale later; just trust me, it was a lot of coincidence and good timing and luck.


Filed under exchanges, good mail, knitting, spinning, spinning-wheel, yarn

Contests Galore

I’m still trying to come up with a good name for my spindleworks (all the while assuring Dru that no, I’m not letting this spindle-makingthing get out of hand, really!), so I’m keeping my mini-contest open a few days later. (I teach on Sunday, maybe that would be a good day tohave chosen something, y’think?!) Leave me your 2 cents and help me figure out a good name — “Fox Den” Fibersomthingorother is taken; I’m contemplating “FolkLore”…

* * * * *

Anther Emily in the knit-blogosphere is having a contest, for a cause! Go here for more information about the contest (and great prizes!) as she tries to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through selling her neat-looking Pearl’s Diamond Sock pattern! (And who doesn’t love more sock patterns?)

* * * * *

Vicki is hosting a contest to find as many low-yardage free projects as possible: what can I knit with 1 to 285yds? Send her a link to a free pattern and be entered in her draw — and check out the fantastic list she’s compiled!

* * * * *

And over at No More Sweaters! Faith’s having a blogiversary contest — just leave her your favourite joke (and wish her well, of course!) and you could win some fabulous knitswag.

Best of luck, everyone!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, rambling

What’s in a name?

I’ve been making spindles for my own use for a while now, experimenting with many different kinds of materials and construction, finding out what works (and doesn’t) for hand-made — but not lathe-turned — spindles. I’m relatively proud of the things I’ve made.

Lately, I’ve even been selling a few to the Purple Purl, which has gone over better than I’d ever have expected. They might not be as fantastic as the lathed spindles you can find from the professionals online, but my spindles are nice, functionable tools and are very affordable to boot (all the better to rope in new spinners, I say!)

“Purple Purl exclusive” spindles.

It hit me yesterday as I was showing Jennifer some new prototypes (a 20g lace-weight spindle! a 40g ‘student’ one!) that (OMG-WTF-LOL) if I’m actually conducting business with these folks here, maybe, d’y’think I should have a business identity?

Now, anyone that has been reading here for a while, or has looked a my (pathetically small) profile on Ravelry, probably knows by now that self-identificaiton is not one of my strong points. I know who I am, but I can’t describe myself to get me out of a wet paper bag. Heck, I don’t even like my blog title (but I guess I’m stuck with it, eh?). So I’m asking for help — I need a name and have no clue!

Some bits that may help:
* I think “Foxden FibreStudio” would be a great name, if I were a dyer (but I’m not).
* “Amelia” (and all it’s variations) is my inescapable name. I’ve dealt with this, and am willing to work with it.
* I like things Celtic, and folklore and mythology (ambiguous, I know, that’s why I’m asking for help!)
* I’m don’t really like pun-names, but I do appreciate cleverness.
* I’d like a name that alludes to what I’m making here (i.e. spindles/spinning tools).

If you help me figure out a good name (bonus points for ‘logo’ ideas to match), I’ll send you a spindle and something to spin!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, meta-blogging, rambling, spinning, Uncategorized

Nothing to see here

Not much is worse in the blogging world than reading someone’s to-do list, so I’d encourage you to just go read the Yarn Harlot or something today… ’cause I got nothin’ else for you!

To Do
Read on only if you’re actually interesting in me nagging myself. You’ve been warned.

* Make more spindles. The Purple Purl is in need of stock, as well as the fact that I’m teaching again on Feb. 17th. (!) This must happen soon. At least I have the parts ordered! I wonder if I can pick them up tonight…

* Create handout for drop-spindle spinning class. You’re not writing a book here, so stop worrying about total comprehensiveness. At the very least, write up resource list (web/books) & print more Spin-off pamphlets.

* Start proper spinner’s journal. Remember that does not need to be some fantastic, outpouring of creativity and visual spectacle — just notes about yarn.

* Finalize Icewine pattern. Then put it up on blog & Ravelry.
(To achieve this, at least one of the Icewine 2.0 mitts must be completed!)

* Finish drafting charts for Dru’s special project pattern, then start knitting it.

* Create chart for Stranded Knitting class. Do not freak out about teaching a knitting class.

* Spin more. Spindle, and wheel, too.

* Which reminds me: decide whether or not to write pattern(s?) for Spindle and Wheel. If yes, then get it done & sent.

* Do not agonize over that wheel. See if you can test it out. If it is meant to be, it will be.

* Knit obsessively on lace-weight shawl. Take decent photos, write up pattern & share.

Still reading? It seems only fair, then, to ask you, what are you procrastinating about “in the middle of” these days? Do you have any crafty to-dos?


Filed under drop-spindle, knitting, rambling, spinning

Sock Madness

Would I be mad, do you think, to sign up for Sock Madness 2?

Sock Madness 2

It’s a knit-off, a speed race for socks. I don’t even have any much of a sockyarn stash. And I’m not usually the competitive type. But the free patterns, and that push to knit socks, knit them fast and well

Would I be mad to? Would I be mad not to?

1 Comment

Filed under knitting, socks