Knitting Update

meow retake 1

Hello again and apologies for the radio silence. Life over the past couple of years or so had taken me away from knitting and designing patterns due to various shenanigans. But, at last, I’m pulling back the cobwebs and here am I again.

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning around The Red Fox and Gown website and giving the website and social media a much-needed make-over. So yes, you’re in the right place. On Ravelry, you can find me under Rena Greyson. And I’m still on Etsy with The Red Fox And Gown shop. And you can find me online through the social media links on this blog.

So what all is in the works? Well, some of the patterns are in the process of getting some updated pics, like the Meow Hat above, and some minor updates behind the scenes.

And there’s two pattern releases coming up over the next couple of months, and some other cool stuff, I promise.

Unknitting

IMG_1256

Yesterday I spent waaaay more time unknitting than knitting, which served as a reminder that in designing, sometimes you need to go backward in order to go forward. Even so, I was amazed at how long it took. I undid a long edge that had already been bound off, using a tubular cast off, which was much more time consuming than doing the bind off in the first place. What really helped was using my tapestry needle to help find the woven in ends and loosen bind off stitches as I went.

IMG_1254After a long time, I made it to the stockinette fabric. I had alternated skeins, so I needed to frog a couple of rows, then switch, and frog with the second skein. Whee. This also took way longer than I thought it would. But I got to where I needed to go, and knitted once more. Which I thought initially was going well, until I realized I was knitting the wrong pattern. Ha. So then I had to do some proper unknitting using my needles. Without twisting my stitches. Tricky. Yet again, I did get to where I needed to go. Third time lucky, everything seems okay now. But really, my shenanigans took the better part of a day and I was happy that I could work on my project out on the patio. Which kind of looks like this:

Rena in the garden 2013

…except with piles of knitting all around me, which I bet you can imagine what that looks like.

And guess what I get to do today? We meet again, tubular bind off. I’ll be out there soon, concentrating very hard.

x Rena

Sneak Peek: Neon Glow Cable Fingerless Gloves

neon glow 2

I have another sneak peek for you behind the scenes this month. There’s been lots of sneak peeks lately! Check out my new Neon Glow cable fingerless gloves sample. This is a sample knit up for TNNA, the knitting tradeshow that happens 3 times a year in the US. I’m not going, but the glove is. Really, this glove is a collaboration with Rain City Knits, my favourite indie dyer, and lovely local wool supplier Pollika, who provided the yarn bases. If you’re in Columbus, Ohio this weekend, check Pollika out at their TNNA booth!

il_570xN.462542364_efva

Highlighter Yellow by Rain City Knits

As you’ve probably noticed, this glove is bright. Not just yellow bright, but Highlighter Yellow bright. The colourway is one of the excellent neon yarn colours offered by Rain City Knits. Neon is enjoying a revival in fashion, and here’s a chance to play with neon colour with your accessories. The yarn is a light DK made from Blue Faced Leicester wool in superwash. The yarn is dreamy!il_570xN.466154330_879x

Just because I can’t resist, here’s another of Rain City Knit’s new neon colourways… Glowstick Party! I have to say, it is fabulous.

I bet you’d like a bit of info on the gloves, too. As you can see (on the back at least), they have paired cables on both front and back. The gloves will be available in two sizes, s/m and m/l. I am currently writing up the pattern and I will send the pattern off for tech editing and testing over the summer. And then there’s the small matter of a proper photo shoot too. The gloves should be released by fall, perhaps earlier if you folks want to knit fall accessories during August. 🙂 Just let me know.

What do you think?

x Rena

Finished! Owlets Pullover

Image

I am pleased to share that I have finally finished knitting an Owlets pullover for a close friend’s baby that was born last month. For those of you who aren’t obsessed with Scottish knitwear designer Kate Davies, Owlets is the infant and child size version of her fiercely popular adult size Owls pullover on popular knitting hub Ravelry.

Don’t worry, I’m not spilling the beans prematurely here – Maia’s Mom has seen the sweater over the magic that is Skype all the way in London, UK from my home in metro Vancouver.

owlet

The pattern was a delight to knit, both well written and nicely laid out. For Maia, the new arrival, I chose a Madelinetosh Rios superwash worsted yarn in a lovely green variegated colourway called ‘Lettuce’. I used most of two skeins. The yarn was so soft! And durable, to keep up with a young baby’s adventures. I chose to knit the 1 year old size, thinking that this will be ready for her first fall / winter later this year. I hope this clever plan works out.

Image

I finished by embellishing the owlet eyes by hand sewing Swarovski crystal flower buttons for eyes, secured with a small bead at the centre where a pupil should be. I am pleased with how they turned out!

Confession time: the package with this pullover should have gone a long time ago, but I was procrastinating on the underarm grafting to take care of the underarm holes made when attaching sleeves to a round yoke. Truthfully, grafting is much more simple than it would first appear. I feel kind of silly for having delayed so long. There was an excellent kitchener stitch tutorial on Knitty to ease the pain of grafting. I felt so accomplished afterward – it really does work.

owlet 1

At last the parcel is truly ready to go, with another surprise in it for good measure. Now that is a secret I can keep.

x Rena

A New Yarn Tale: Mini Maiden

Image

I recently paid a visit to Black Sheep Yarns in Port Moody, BC, specifically on a mission to purchase, and only purchase, a set of circular needles. Black Sheep is a beautiful shop and I love looking at just about everything each time I visit. As often happens, I was suckered into taking a new skein home with me. I tried to resist its charms, but like the Borg, resistance was futile.

As I tried to be virtuous, there was this skein… she was a vision amid all the lace and fingering weight yarn in the display. I tried to lap the shop a couple of time to shake her, but I kept coming back. Finally, I picked up the skein and I knew it was the deal was sealed.

And what tempted me so badly? It was a skein of fingering weight by Canadian company Handmaiden Fine Yarn. Specifically, it was a hand-dyed Mini Maiden variegated skein in the Sugarplum colourway. The colours were glorious, a deep magenta, gold, and palest blue-green. The yarn also had a wonderful sheen, and as suspected, the yarn is half silk, half wool. Perfect! I am a total sucker for silk in yarn, believe me.

I came home and I needed to play with this yarn (and yes, in case you’re wondering, I also purchased the needles I set out for). It was necessary. So I promptly made a nice ball of yarn.

Image

I admired the yarn some more. It was delightfully soft. So soft!

Of course, by then I couldn’t just leave the yarn alone. A new design project came to mind… and it’s now incubating. I can’t wait to share the results with you soon.

I do wholeheartedly recommend picking up your own Mini Maiden to play with.

x Rena

 

 

Spring Beach Update… Err, Knitting Update

Image

Crescent Beach on a crisp spring day.

I must get better at blogging more regularly. I promise I will. As is usually the case around here, things have been rather busy. But not too busy to get to my favourite beach for a walk or two. Getting outside and into nature always gives me new ideas, from colour to texture to shape.

Image

A riot of tulips.

 

I saw a garden full of tulips that was an amazing sight to behold. Truly there were tulips in all the spring colours filling someone’s back garden. I was delighted. In the centre of the photo lies a very large anchor.

ImageIn another garden, an anemone was in bloom, looking gorgeous. I can’t see anemones without thinking of being in Greece, which was the first place I had ever seen anemones growing – and in the wild, too. I think this anemone has really inspired me in terms of colour this spring.

Image

Also growing quietly in the same garden was a crop of mushrooms hidden behind daffodils. The mushrooms looked like they had been stretched and seemed somewhat mystical.

 

Image

Despite the serious expression (honestly, I don’t really like having my photo taken), I really enjoyed the fresh walk earlier in the month. If you look closely, I’m wearing my sample for the new Granville Hat, which will be released in early May. The hat kept me warm against the beach breeze!

Granville has been been tended to by my lovely tech editor and my wonderful test knitters. I’m in love with the nearly anemone coloured alpaca yarn by DROPS that I used to knit up the sample. I promise to blog more about Granville for its release.

Image

This photo is a clue for the secret project. Admire the Herdwick sheep.

My secret project is coming along well, too. I’ve finished the sample and the photography with the kind assistance of undisclosed helpers. The pattern is off to the tech editor and I’m aiming to release the hat mid-May. I’m pretty thrilled with the result.

The book project is also humming along. There will be a photoshoot or two in May to show all the pattern samples that will be in the book. I’m excited about this and trying to figure out some locations for the shots.

There’s always a few more things up my sleeve too. But in the meantime, enjoy the gorgeous spring out there.

x Rena

 

Fibres West 2013

photo(3) copy 2Today was set-up day for the vendors at Fibres West, and set up we did. That is, after I had a minor adventure finding the Cloverdale Show Barn where the show is being held, since I took a sneaky entrance onto the fair grounds.

photo(3) copyBefore too long, I’d set up my booth, ready for tomorrow. Knit patterns on display and ready to go. Ready for a good sleep before tomorrow!

x Rena