Getting Ready for Fibres West 2013

 

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Apologies for the radio silence – things have been busy around here as spring approaches amid the Vancouver rain. Lots of projects are on the go and I’m busy getting ready for Fibres West on 22 and 23 March 2013, held at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey, BC. It’s hard to believe that the event is only 10 days away.

 

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As for The Red Fox and Gown, work has been going on behind the scenes on getting my booth display prepared. Things are mostly together at this point, I’m happy to say. I’m excited to sell printed patterns (on heavyweight paper and kept in a plastic sleeve) at the show, with samples of the different projects on display at the table (guess which one is me below).

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I have about 10 accessories patterns ready to go, including favourites such as the Sage Woodland Hood, Cloud Cowl, the Foxy Business Hat, and the Star Slouch Hat.

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I’ve also helped out my sister Krista with her preparations for RainCityKnits’ booth for Fibres West too. I spent the afternoon yesterday helping out with her beautifully dyed yarns. I got to play with Babycakes (yay!) and her gorgeous electric coral yarn in worsted weight.

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I’m so glad that the Vancouver area has two major fibre events per year, 6 months apart to keep you going. I’ll also be at Knit City 2013 in October. But there’s lots to come before then, with some mysterious pattern designs in the works, including garments as well as accessories. 🙂

Please stop by at The Red Fox and Gown booth at FIbres West and say hi!

x Rena

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Signature Red Fox Fingerless Gloves and Knit City 2012

Our signature Red Fox Fingerless Gloves.

Autumn is seriously kicking up its heels here in Vancouver, Canada. Our seasonal rains arrived with a roll of fog mid-month and hasn’t let up since. The good news about this rather abrupt transition from the hot weather we had previously been enjoying is that it is perfect knitting weather. And some fun stuff has been in the works for the season, not least of all The Red Fox and Gown’s new signature Red Fox Fingerless Gloves knitting pattern.

The cozy gloves are warm and ready for new fall and winter adventures. The gloves can be made in two lengths, short and long, as well as in two sizes, s/m and m/l. The short version in m/l is shown.

RainCityKnits colourful booth at Vancouver’s Knit City event during October 2012. Complete with guide dog in training in crate under the table!

Last weekend, despite the horizonal lashing rain, throngs of knitters descended on Vancouver’s first annual Knit City event. I was proudly helping out Krista of Rain City Knits at her booth. Her gorgeous yarns are now also available in a worsted weight in a range of colours. I spent the weekend imagining which colour I’d pick for my next pullover or cardigan.

Do you have any fall knitting plans? I have so much more to share with you, stay tuned!

x Rena

Ode to Sheep: Merino Wool

Merino ram.

Since I wrote about alpacas, it’s only fair that I write about merino wool, another favourite fibre. Merino wool, as you’ve probably guessed already, comes from merino sheep. Did you know that there’s several varieties of merino sheep, including the Saxony and Peppin? You can impress your friends with the fun trivia that you learn visiting here.

Merino is prized due to its softness,  warmth and ability to wick water. Merino wool is excellent at regulating body temperature and even has antibacterial properties thanks to the lanolin in the wool.

Merino ewes and lambs.

Another fun fact: merino wool is available in several grades based on its coarseness: strong (broad), medium, fine, super fine and ultra fine. Ultra fine can be blended with luxury fibres such as cashmere or silk to produce a lightweight and highly insulating yarn.

Some of my favourite yarns are made from single ply 100% merino, including RainCityKnits and Madelinetosh. They are absolutely lovely to work with and come in a great array of colours.

Lamb.

And to be fair since I showed a picture of a cria at the end of the alpaca post, here is the requisite lamb photo! Enjoy the cuteness.

x Rena

September Knitting Pattern Contest

Morgan Hat pattern.

A new month and unofficially a new season has arrived. Autumn is prime time for knitting and I have a list of stuff that I want to knit and create. If only I had more hours in a day! Or knit faster, ha.

Star Slouch Hat.

To celebrate September, I think it’s time for a contest. All you need to do is e-mail me at theredfoxandgown@gmail.com with ‘pattern contest’ in the headline and your name and country before 1 October 2012. Easy, right? I will then randomly select the lucky winner out of the proverbial hat on 1 October 2012. I promise not to distribute or share your e-mail. Please note that I would love to name the lucky winner in a future blog post, but I will check with you to make sure that is okay with you before I do.

Edinburgh Mittens pattern.

What do you win? A PDF pattern of your choice from the Red Fox and Gown to get into the spirit of fall knitting. Or spring knitting if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere! 🙂 I’ve posted the 4 current patterns on this page so you can see what I have on offer. I’ll e-mail the pattern as soon as you let me know which one you like. And that’s it!

English Rose Hat pattern.

Sounds like fun, right? The email address again is theredfoxandgown@gmail.com.

x Rena

Dog Days are Over: Autumnal Hints

Star Slouch Hat. PDF pattern available from The Red Fox and Gown.

As Florence + the Machine put it, the dog days are over, unfortunately. I don’t mind being proven wrong, though! For those who don’t know, the dog days are the hottest days of summer, usually in July and August for us in the Northern Hemisphere, and falling in January and February for Southern Hemisphere folks. Here in Vancouver, Canada, the dog days usually are in July, but with our late summer this year, August put in a good showing with a heatwave earlier this month.

From every ending comes a new beginning. I really used to scoff at that truism, but there’s really a lot of wisdom in the phrase. Just because you can’t see the road ahead through the fog doesn’t mean that there’s no road ahead. With the ending of summer, a new season and new beginnings. I always have felt that September is really the start of the New Year with back to school and crisp autumnal days.

And the point of all this? With the arrival of fall comes knitting coziness. Fresh patterns, new yarn, supplies. Lists of design ideas. I feel like it’s the first day of school, although I’ve been out of school for some years now; graduate school is all but a memory. I’m ready to hunker down with projects and lose myself in knitting.

Star Slouch Hat in grey.

In preparation for the upcoming Fall / Winter, I’ve been busy working on a line of knitting patterns aimed for beginner to intermediate knitters who are ready to move beyond variously shaped rectangles and are ready to learn a few new techniques. One easy project is my Star Slouch Hat pattern- as promised, it’s an easy-to-knit slouchie beanie, or toque for the Canadians, that you can dress up or down for that urban look. I made mine out of alpaca for extra luxury.

Edinburgh Mittens in alpaca.

My Edinburgh Mittens are a classic, trim mitten style with modern colour blocking. Me being me, they’re also made from alpaca. I took the colour cues from my time in Edinburgh when I fell in love with the city and Scotland in general, particularly from Arthur’s Seat overlooking the city.

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland. View from Edinburgh Castle.

Click on the pictures above to go to Etsy for the patterns. If you prefer, you can also find my designs on Ravelry for another option.

I am very near ready to post another pattern this week, a twist on a hat pattern. I promise that it’s cozy!

What are you doing to get ready for fall? Do you have any knitting projects lined up?

x Rena