Two cowl patterns

I hinted the other day that I have two new cowl patterns coming up. Both patterns are currently in the hands of the tech editor. All that’s left other than that is to write up descriptions, take some better pictures on my dress form, Nicole… and to name the things. Most of it is easy stuff. No biggie. Just a little time investment, and good light for photos at the right time of day, and it’s a snap. The names—Arg. Naming the things is sometimes the hardest part of the whole project. I’ve been doing fairly well lately, but for these two cowls I keep coming up with blanks and dead ends, so I’m hoping you all can help.

When you scroll down a little bit you’ll see a couple truly awful pictures that I took just after the sun rose this morning. They’re horrid photos, especially the glaring orange of the one, but they should be good enough to start the juices flowing. I hope. Their working titles are, respectively, Twisted Cowl 1 and Twisted Cowl 2. Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, merino sock, in Scarlett O’Hara

The small picture to the right is a more accurate photo of the color of the orange-red yarn.

So far I’ve bandied about ideas from naming them after twin Greek gods, plants with twisted stems, buildings with twisted columns or other twisted decorations, leaves (the orange one reminds me of acanthus leaves, or sometimes of thistles).

Also, if it helps, if you happen to have these two yarns yourself, both yarns are from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, her merino Sock yarn, in Indian Turquoise and Scarlett O’Hara.

Go wild. Think of stuff. Let me know what your ideas are by replying to this post before midnight Friday, 24 June, 2011. The person (or persons) who come up with names I end up using will get a free copy of both patterns when I release them.

Twisted cowl 1

Twisted cowl 2


I’ve closed out comments for this post, as the time for making name suggestions has closed. I’ll post here when I’ve decided which ones of all the fabulous names you all came up with I’m going to use. Thank you all!

Five in five

I’ve been insane. Truly insane. Why? Well, because I’ve released five patterns in as many weeks, and have more coming in the pipeline—soon. Perhaps another this week. And (maybe) two more in the next two weeks. Perhaps three more in three more weeks. We’ll just have to see how it all plays out. Clematis by Fiber Dreams

I told you I’ve been insane.

One. It started with the release of Clematis on May 18—a triangular shawl pattern with an elegant border and a simple garter stitch center.

Two. When I finished knitting Clematis I discovered I wasn’t done with the stitch pattern, so I cast on for Niobe. Niobe is a scarf pattern in the same vein as Spanish Dancer, Anjou, and Mako: in other words, it’s a scarf with that starts and ends with a point on the end, and the design grows from it row by row. Niobe was released on May 27.

Niobe by Fiber Dreams

Three. I originally came up with the idea for Aventine a couple of years ago, knit it up, even wrote out the pattern, then held it back. Aventine ended up being published originally in an issue of Love of Knitting magazine, where they completely messed up the chart when they printed the pattern. Time passed, and I eventually got the publication rights back to the design. Then more time passed. Meanwhile, people knit the pattern anyway. At this point, the back issue of that issue no longer appears to be available from the magazine, so I reworked the pattern adding two additional sizes (now two sizes of scarf, and a shawl), got it tech edited, and released it on my own. With the correct chart as well as written stitch instructions. Aventine was re-released on June 2.

Aventine by Fiber Dreams

Four. I got yarn at Stitches West from Teresa Ruch in February with the idea that she’d kit up what I designed with it to sell at shows, while I retained publication rights. The first of these designs is Minerva, a light little cowl with an interesting stitch, and a lot of drape. Minerva was released on June 9.

Minerva by Fiber Dreams

Five. I have a love of combining cables and lace. Starshine is the latest result of that love. I wrote up the pattern in three scarf sizes, but it could easily be made larger yet, and worn as a shawl. Starshine was released on June 16.

Starshine by Fiber Dreams

Six and seven? I have one cowl pattern knit up, and ready to photograph, the other is getting close to having the knitting done. These two cowl patterns, neither of which I have a single picture of yet, use the same yarn, a lovely merino sock yarn from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, are knit with two strands of yarn, and both are loaded with tons of twisted stitches. Especially the first of them. Since the patterns are both based on a twisted rib, they’re sort of twins. I thought it would be fun to give them twin names, but I haven’t been able to come with anything. Yet.

Kumasi by Fiber DreamsEight and beyond. I did a pattern for Bijou Basin Ranch last year that is coming home the first of July, Kumasi. I also have a shell pattern that’s in the hands of my tech editor. Hopefully she’ll have time to take a look at it soon. The shell pattern is the mate to Corinthian. And then there’s the sweater pattern I started last year with the lovely Malabrigo Twist. It needs help, and I’m seriously considering ripping out the entire neckline, so it can be re-worked as soon as I’m done with the second twin cowl. Then there’s also the cardigan that will be theLalique by Fiber Dreams final installment of the West Coast Swing Collection. I hope to finally get that out of my hair this summer. Plus, I’ve been feeling the need to knit a cozy cardigan. And…

Oh! I almost forgot. While all this has been going on, my little lace sweater pattern, Lalique (buy it here), has been rising in popularity on Ravelry. As of yesterday it has reached the number two spot on the Sanguine Gryphon pattern page there. I obviously don’t know that it will last, but it’s quite fun seeing it there.

Lalique on Ravelry

I told you I’ve been insane.


Last week I released the first shawl pattern since last year. I know! It was wonderful knitting a full shawl again, but kind of strange, too, since it’d been so long. The shawl is called Clematis, and is named for the gorgeous old Shetland stitch I based it on, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite flowering vines.


I used a much, much thicker yarn for my model than I historically have for lace shawls. It’s a light sport weight yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch called Lhasa Wilderness. The yarn is 75% yak and 25% bamboo, and is marvelously soft and warm. Between that and the large size—more than 6½ feet across—it’s something to really cuddle up in.

The shawl has gotten so much good feedback already that I thought it might be fun to do a KAL for it in my Ravelry group. Please go over to the Clematis KAL? thread, take a look, and let me know what you think.


About 2½ weeks ago I was hit by a malware attack. I have most of my computer world put back together at this point, but definitely not all of it. Don’t ever get bitten by one of those. It’s horrible. But if you do, make sure you’ve backed up everything to an external drive. It makes recovering the data a more realistic thing. Just saying.

While I was suffering computer woes, I was knitting. I couldn’t edit the pattern, hopefully I’ll be able to do that and get it off to my tech editor later this week, but I could knit. Thankfully. I’d probably have gone insane without my knitting. Here’s a preview of the triangular shawl I was working on.


The yarn is Bijou Basin Ranch Lhasa Wilderness, a yummy 75/25 blend of yak and bamboo. Truly de-lish.

And that is my super-duper blog post for the day. I’m off to eat and caffeinate myself before getting into the nitty-gritty of my day.

Another sweater knit up

Finally finished knitting this little tank that goes with the cardigan I finished last month out of Kollage YarnsMilky Whey. The yarn is a 50/50 blend of milk and soy. I know. Boggles the mind. But it’s a nice soft yarn with awesome drape.

Anyway, the tech editing is done for the cardigan pattern, but I still need photos… I wanted to get this tank done so that it will be dry by Monday morning when my model shows up for our photo shoot. It’d be ever so much easier to be able to take pictures of both sweaters at the same time, than to try to coordinate our schedules again. It’s supposed to be in the 80s here all weekend, so though it’s early afternoon and I just put the sweater out to block, I’m still hopeful that it’ll have time to dry. Hopefully milk and soy both dry quickly.

Ionic blocking 1 Ionic blocking 2 Ionic blocking 3

My friend Rachel will be modeling for me Monday. While she’s here, I’ll have her slip on a couple other sweaters that would benefit from having pictures taken with a live person in them. She’s about my size, and the sweaters were all knit to fit me, so I hope it’ll all work out well. Again, fingers crossed. I’ve never used a live model before. This will be interesting.

If you like pie, be sure to go visit Rachel’s blog, 52 Pies. She’s a little behind on her goal of one pie every week, but she’s sharing recipes, and the photos will make your mouth water. Yum.

Madness, podcast, buttons, KAL

I have a variety of quick things for you…

I am excited to announce that Kathy Elkins of WEBS, America’s Yarn Store interviewed me yesterday for her podcast Ready, Set, Knit. The podcast should be available to listen to starting on Saturday morning, April 16.

Corinthian 13A decision was finally made regarding which buttons to use on the blue cardigan. I was going to visit Mom anyway, so took the sweater, and a number of button options with me, then laid the decision at her feet. She chose buttons that I recently picked up at a LYS after I ran the polls. I’m so relieved to have that decision made, that I sewed them on the sweater as soon as I had a chance, which ended up being yesterday. I love them. The sweater is not double breasted. In the photo I was simply trying to decide which direction the buttons would face.

The tank top (no photo yet, sorry!) that matches that blue cardigan is getting close to being done. I’m hoping to finish it up today, so I can block it and have it dry by Monday morning when my friend Rachel comes over to do some modeling for me.

Lalique KALThere seemed to be interest, so I started a KAL on Ravelry for my Lalique pattern. If you want to knit along with the group, or just gather inspiration watching others, please join the group! The pattern is available for sale from The Sanguine Gryphon. bed-incoming-06.jpg

I don’t know if you’ve been following my tweets at all lately, but the old water bed finally died a few weeks or so ago. Yup. I woke up in the wee hours one morning soaked from neck to knee. I dripped from the bed to the bathroom where I had to towel off. That was novel. The mattress tore just enough to let the water through, but not enough that I landed. Mom wanted to get a smaller bed anyway, so we ran up to her place to pick up her not-very-old California king box spring, mattress, and headboard. There are quite a few photos in the gallery starting with bringing the new bed home in our truck.

Karrie announced this year’s March Madness prize winners the other day. Sarah was the lucky knitter who won one of my patterns. She chose Tilia. Please give a round of applause to Sarah. I love giving prizes away. So much fun. If you have a knitting related event, and would like me to donate a prize, please ask!

West Coast Swing cardi 11While I was on a button-sewing spree yesterday, I also finally sewed buttons on a cardigan that I first started designing in, get this, 2008. I was close to re-finishing this sweater in December. I started sewing the buttons on to discover that the buttonholes weren’t evenly spaced. Don’t know what drug I was on when I knit the button band, but it was clearly a good one. So, the neckline and both bands—naturally I knit them together—had to be ripped out, and re-knit. At some point I started sewing the buttons on again, and stopped when part way done. When I got ready to sew the rest of the buttons on yesterday I discovered that I’d originally sewed the buttons on in the wrong places. Oops. All but one button had to come off, before I could put the rest of them back on. You can see in the picture where the buttons are. Those bits of bright yarn mark where the buttonholes are. I need to finish up the pattern now that the sweater is done. And now that the buttonholes and buttons are in the right places. When done, this will be the final pattern in my West Coast Swing Collection.

Oooh, mitts are coming…

Have you heard of the Fresh Designs knitting book series that Cooperative Press is working on? Teaser photographs have been released, along with permission to share them in blogs. So without further ado, I introduce the mitts that I designed for the mittens book using The Sanguine Gryphon yarn (yum).

Fiber Dreams design for Fresh Designs Mittens book

Photo © 2011 Fractured Photography. Used with permission. By the way, I love this picture! Don’t you? I’ve seen all the other photos that will be in the Mittens book, and this one is by far my favorite. Perhaps it’s because it’s my pattern, but I’ll let you decide which you like best once the book has been released.

In order to get the books in her queue published more quickly, Cooperative Press is looking for funding. If you can, please send a little cash Shannon’s way. Even a single buck will help out, but take a look at the prizes she’s giving away with more generous donations. There’s some great stuff there. On a purely selfish note, the sooner she gets her funding, the sooner the Mittens book will be published, and the sooner I’ll have a pattern in my first book ever! I wrote up the design for these mitts, and knit all the options, late last summer, and have to admit to having gotten a bit antsy having to wait so long. Silly, I know, but there you go. I’m excited. Can’t be helped.


One of my secret projects has been released. Lalique is a dainty little lace cardigan with period stitches and tons of beads that I designed for The Sanguine Gryphon’s Spring 2011 Collection.

Lalique 1 Lalique 2 Lalique 3

I know that the picture with the cat doesn’t show much of the sweater, but I love it anyway. I have more pictures on my pattern site. All of these lovely modeled shots © The Sanguine Gryphon 2011, and are used with permission.

End of an era

The old water bed is gone. The frame is under the house, and the plastic mattress is still laying in the yard, draining, waiting to be taken up the hill and put in the trash or recycle bin or whatever spot its destined for at this point. (The mattress got itself on the hill by my suggestion: Dave hated the idea of taking it, dripping, through the house, so I told him to drop it off the edge of the balcony. Tee hee. I mean, why not? It’s handy. There are only weeds down there that will be cut down in a couple weeks anyway…) The headboard is something that evidently will only work well with water beds, and so it’s going out, too. Here Dave and our good neighbor Bob are taking it up the stairs to the street level, and out to the truck.

Headboard 1 Headboard 2 Headboard 3
Headboard 4 Headboard 5 Headboard 6

It evidently fit quite well in the back of the pickup. Before doing all this Dave called the local charity, and they said they’d take it. So off they all went. Half an hour later they were back. With the headboard. They refused it. Gads. It would be distinctly less frustrating, if they hadn’t said they’d take it in the first place. Anyway, the thing is in the garage now. If we can’t find someone else to take it, it’ll come back downstairs, to be hung on a support wall under the house. Anyone want a 1970s style headboard with dark wood, lots of shelves? Free to good (local) home.

It’s looking like a sweater

The flurry of massive cleaning that happened last week is a fading memory. Luckily, the house stays clean longer than the painful memories of getting that way remain. Most of them, anyway. It’s so nice to have a clean house again! Our wonderful company, the friends we did all that cleaning for (honestly, we should have people over more often), have come and gone. They had a horrendous trip back home. It took a full nine hours to get over the grapevine—a mountainous section of I-5 separating southern California from the central valley—and a total of 17 hours to get home from here. Under normal conditions, it’s a seven-hour trip. Plans for near-future visits are being made. With luck, they’ve used up their bad driving conditions karma for the year, and later visits will see them on the road for more normal periods of time.

While all that was going on, scant progress was made on the blue sweater. It’s finally seamed, though, and all I-cord edges knit. Most of the ends are even woven in, though some are better done than others. Luckily, only the outside of the sweater really counts, when all is said and done, and even the less well done end-weavings don’t show from the outside. I hope to weave in the rest of the ends later today. After that is done, only the buttons need to be attached before calling the project done. At least, the creating part. I’m still tweaking the pattern, but most of that is done, as well. Here are a couple of quick pictures of the sweater, with and without the two most popular button choices sitting in place, separated by two blank spots where buttons will eventually be placed.

Corinthian 11 Corinthian 12

We’ll be visiting Mom this coming weekend. I may leave the buttons off, and take the sweater up to get her opinion on the button issue. When Barbara (sadly blogless) was here over the weekend, she voted for the black ones. I’m still vacillating. Arg.