The end of the old

We finally got my newly updated blog up and running. Finally. The only bad news about it, and it isn’t all that bad, is that the blog had to move. Things on the Internet are a little different than they were years ago when we initially set up this blog site. So, from now on, this blog will be kept for archival purposes at this address. If you want to get new updates, however, please go to…

http://www.fiberdreams.com/blog/

and point your feed reader to…

http://www.fiberdreams.com/blog/feed/

I even blogged over on the new blog page, so make sure you go read it!

P.S. Leaving comments on the new blog should A. actually work, and B. send me email. I know. What will they think of next? As an added bonus—at least I hope you’ll think it’s a bonus—if you’re not a spammer, and you leave a comment for me on the new blog, I’ll reply. :-D

Poor, old blog

Don’t faint or anything, but I’ve been wanting to blog a bit again lately. I know! Now you’ve gone and fainted. I hope you didn’t hurt yourself when you fell off your chair.

The sad thing is that my blogging software is so old (WordPress 2.3.1) that it doesn’t work and play well with all the much newer stuff on the server that it needs to work and play well with. Drat. One of these days, hopefully soon, my dearest husband will have the time to install a much, much, much newer version of WordPress (currently 3.5.1) on our server. Then I’ll need to make time to make the new one pretty. When that’s all done we’ll make the new blog go live, and this poor old blog will not be used any longer. All of this blog’s content will still be available for posterity, but the new stuff will be, well, on the new blog. Because this blog is basically dead anyway, and commenting doesn’t really work any more, we’ve (hopefully) disabled all comments here. I haven’t gotten anything but spam for the last year anyway, so no real loss.

I’ll post again when we eventually go live with the new blog. Because we run our own server, the new blog will have the same address that this old one does, and The old blog will be renamed, moved aside. What this means to you is that the same old bookmarks and feeds will automatically go to the new blog. Hopefully. If we do it right. Keep your fingers crossed. Except when you’re knitting.

Here’s a little tease to keep you interested.

Gwendolen by Laura Patterson

I know. Isn’t it awful? You can’t even leave a comment. Sorry about that. Sort of. ;-)

Lalique and North Coast

I have found, much to my chagrin, that it’s either spend time on Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, or blog even remotely regularly. Or do all of them, and just chuck designing.

That last bit is not currently an option. And hopefully won’t be for a good long time to come.

Given that there are only so many hours in a day, and I already work most of them, regular blogging has unfortunately gone the way of the dodo. That said, otherwise ignoring the fact that it’s been 3½ months since I last posted, I am here today to share with you my latest two releases: Lalique and North Coast.

Lalique

Lalique front Lalique back Lalique sleeve

Yes, you’re right, you’ve seen Lalique before. It was part of The Sanguine Gryphon’s Spring 2011 Collection. I wasn’t counting on having the pattern back so soon, but when they broke up the business, the kind ladies at The Sanguine Gryphon decided to return printing rights to all their designers early. I took the pattern I did for them, added three sizes to it, and had it tech edited again. The pattern is currently being printed, so will be available to shops soon. In the meantime, if you like you can purchase it in pdf format.

North Coast

North Coast 1 North Coast 2

I’ve wanted to design something with the spectacular print of the wave stitch since I first saw it, years ago. North Coast, a crescent-shaped shawl, is what I finally came up with. The border is knit first, starting and ending with a small number of stitches, then the garter stitch short rows are added to make it into it’s pleasing crescent shape. Because of space considerations, there are only charted stitch instructions for this one. This pattern also is currently in my printer’s hands, but it can be purchased at Patternfish.

Teaser

Melrose Abbey 1 Melrose Abbey 2 Melrose Abbey 3

Because I know myself, I know I won’t type up a separate blog entry for it when it’s done, so I’m giving you this little teaser now. Not a bit lace, and not currently available for sale anywhere (but it will be soon), this little sweater knit up in nothing flat with a lovely tweed yarn I already had that wondered what it wanted to be for ages. Apparently, it wanted to be a simple little pullover with a playful v-neck, it just took me a while to hear what it was saying. It’s currently being printed, too, and will be available everywhere soon.

Birdsfoot Fern

Wow. I’ve been a bad blogger lately, haven’t I? Well, though I’ve been a horrid blogger of late, I’ve been a busy designer. There are three sweaters in the pipeline (a cardigan and two pullovers, plus I’m about to cast on for another cardigan), and then there’s Birdsfoot Fern, a scarf pattern that I released a couple of days ago.

Birdsfoot Fern from Fiber Dreams

I knit the model with Bugga! in Cuban Cockroach from The Sanguine Gryphon. Yum. They died up a special batch of this yarn to coincide with the pattern release, so if you’re of a mind to, you can make a scarf just like mine. As usual, the pattern is available online from Patternfish, and it will be coming to shops in the U.S. soon. For more photos, and a complete description of the pattern, please visit Birdsfoot Fern on my pattern site.

And then there’s this gem of a little video. I don’t know about you, but this is exactly how I feel most of the time.

Website update

Hello everybody. Dave here with a quick note about the Fiber Dreams website.

We released a new version of the site a couple of days ago. Most of the changes are in the background. A lot of the server-side code has been updated, and the site’s running on a new server. The main thing you’ll notice is a speed improvement. You may also notice a few visible changes here and there; there are some. The biggest visible change is to the Shops page. It’s been completely redone as an interactive Google Maps page. I love it. Check it out.

Thanks,
Dave

We have a name!

The pattern isn’t actually a labyrinth or a maze at all. But that was a popular theme with people suggesting names. I even got a couple of votes that indicated people liked the labyrinth theme. I dug around a little, did some research online, and thought that perhaps Knossos would be a good name for the pattern, because though some say that the Palace of Knossos was built as a labyrinth to hold the minotaur, in other places that aspect of the building wasn’t mentioned at all. I was close, so close to using Knossos. In the end I decided not to, because I have the hardest time pronouncing it! Labyrinth is much easier to pronounce—though this word I seem to have a difficult time spelling…

Lost Labyrinth

What does all this mean? This means that the pattern will be called Lost Labyrinth, but I’ll be giving away two copies of the pattern: one to Miya, who suggested Lost Labyrinth, and one to Angela (apparently blogless), who suggested Knossos.

Huge thanks to everyone who suggested a pattern name, with special thanks to Miya and Angela. I’ll be sending email confirmation to both of you ladies in the next few minutes. Please let me know if you don’t get it.

Interview

On another note entirely, my dear friend Mary Bird interviewed me again this morning on her live podcast, Yarn Thing. It was awesome talking to you again this morning, girlfriend.

Another cowl needs a name

While waiting for yarn for a couple of sweatersMountain Mohair to arrive (the first package arrived from Green Mountain Spinnery with Saturday’s mail) I knit up a quick little cowl pattern with Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino. Before you panic with thoughts of knitting a cowl forever with 30,000 stitches, while this cowl is knit with lace yarn, it’s held double, and worked with size 7 needles, so the knitting actually goes fairly quickly—much faster than a pair of socks.

Malabrigo laceThe photo of the blocking cowl is horrible. Mostly it’s the color. The color in the picture is atrocious. It’s really quite pretty in real life. The color in real life is much closer to this small picture to the left. But, I’m showing you this horrible blocking photo, because I once again am in need of a pattern name. And though the color in the photo is awful, the stitch is plainly visible, which is the important part for this little exercise.

Malabrigo cowl

If you have an idea for the name for this pattern, please let me know what it is by leaving a comment to this post before midnight July 28, Pacific time. Whoever suggests the name I end up using will get a free copy of the pattern after it’s released.

More patterns, an interview, and a quotation

Seven new patterns in eight weeks

The madness that started with the release of Clematis has (at least temporarily, I think, though I may be proved wrong) ended with the dual release of Lazy River and Stream (as well as the e-book that combines the last two called Confluence). That makes seven new patterns released in an eight-week period. Eight, if you count Confluence on its own. All but Clematis were conceived, knit, written up, tech edited, photographed, as well as released in that eight-week stint. No wonder I got sick the other day—not super sick, just a mild stomach irritation that is making eating and other related activities… uncomfortable, as well as making me sleep 21 of the first 24 hours after it hit—and I’m definitely on the mend.

Edited to add: Oops. Forgot about the other e-book. Roses and Riverbeds combines the Rosehaven and Lazy River cowl patterns into one document. So, depending on how you count it, this might be the ninth release in eight weeks. Or not.

Confluence by Fiber Dreams

My body seems to be telling me it’s time to slow down.

Which is good, because I don’t have anything to knit right now.

I know. How strange is that? I thought I had something to knit. I had a plan. I swatched. Several times. Blocked the swatches, calculated gauge. I knit a sleeve. But it turns out that either the yardage stated on the label is all wrong, or something else is, because that sleeve took almost half the yarn that I had. A sweater would be very strange with only two sleeves, and nothing to hold them together. Actually, wouldn’t be much of a sweater, would it? I’m disappointed, too. I was really looking forward to wearing that sweater. Drat. Yes, I know. I’m sure there’s enough yarn to make a vest. But it’s been hot out, so I am dying to knit a thick, warm sweater, not a measly little vest thing that I will probably never wear. Frustrating.

I guess I could rip out the top of the thick, warm sweater I knit last summer in that lovely Malabrigo Twist, but I’m not emotionally ready to do the ripping part of that yet. Also a bit frustrating.

Back to the drawing board, I guess. I wonder if I have a sweater’s worth of some other yarn hanging out unnoticed in my yarn trunk. Hm. Might have to go stash diving.

Patternfish interview

Gayle at Patternfish interviewed me recently. The interview was released late yesterday in the most recent edition of their new monthly newsletter. If you’re not on the list, be sure to read it. Actually, read it even if you are on the list! Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Quotation

Time and time again I have sat myself down to write a quick little blog post about something or other, and the next thing I knew it went on for a number of lengthy paragraphs. Or so. Recently I stumbled upon this quote from Blaise Pascal (19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662), a French mathematician, physicist, and theologian; the same man for whom the Pascal programming language was named. It seems to suit:

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

Roses and Riverbeds

First off, huge thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to share your suggestions for these two cowl designs. You all came up with a lot of wonderful names. It was difficult to choose. In the end I wrote a list of my favorites, then read and re-read the list, crossing off a name here and there as I went.

In the end two names in particular floated to the top.

Though originally I thought it would be fun to use names that were twinned—Dave’s suggestion was to name them Pisces Primus and Pisces Secondus—I ended up being smitten with Rosehaven, suggested by Michelle, and Lazy River, suggested by Eileen. As soon as the two patterns are ready to go, I’ll email special copies of them off to Michelle and Eileen.

Rosehaven by Fiber Dreams Lazy River

I’ve sent email to both winners, but haven’t heard back from one of you yet. If that’s you, please send me email, so I know you know you won.

Since the cowls are done, I’ve spent a fair amount of time swatching lately. I’ve had some lovely navy blue bulky cotton yarn in my stash for ages upon ages now, and it most definitely wants to be a cardigan. Cotton cardi swatchIn fact, it’s thinking about becoming a cardigan with these fun little cables at the hems. And maybe some pockets We’ll see what ends up happening. As yet, the yarn isn’t completely certain.

Again, huge thank yous to everyone for sharing your name ideas!

Slightly better photos

Completely untouched by imaging software, other than to make them small enough to reasonably display here on the blog, I share with you two much better photos of the cowls we are trying to name: twisted cowl 1 and twisted cowl 2. Though they’re definitely cowls, I discovered quite by accident that they’re both stretchy enough to wear as capelets. Nicole looks quite cozy in both of them, don’t you think?

The naming contest continues. Please leave your name ideas for these two patterns in the comments of yesterday’s post. Winners will receive a free copy of both patterns!

Twisted cowl 1, again

Twisted cowl 2, again