Meow Cat Hat

meow retake 1

Introducing the Meow Cat Hat, sister hat to Foxy Business. I thought it was time for another ear flap animal hat, and who doesn’t like kittens?

The Meow Cat hat is ready for your roaming! Super cozy hat provides warm comfort against chilly winter days and nights. Cute cat ears top the fitted hat that also features ear flaps, and braids.

The finished hat fits heads approximately 12” to 24” (30.5cm – 61cm) in circumference. The hat can be knit in one of several sizes xs (s , m, l). Model wears size l. When one number is given, it applies to all sizes. When 4 numbers are given, the first is for size xs (12” / 30.5cm), the second for size s (14.5” / 37cm hat), the third for size m (18” / 45.5cm hat) and the fourth for size l (22” / 56cm hat). Note that the fabric stretches easily.

The original pattern calls for fingering weight yarn held double (182yds / 166m) per skein – two skeins are required of main colour. I used DROPS Alpaca in fingering weight. Scrap yarn is needed for the contrasting colour for the ears. The fingering weight yarn can be substituted with worsted weight yarn if you prefer, approximately 225yds / 205m required.

As usual, Katherine Vaughan has expertly tech edited the pattern and my Ravelry test knitters did a fabulous job with the hat.

The Meow Cat Hat is currently on sale on Ravelry to celebrate its launch – 25% off automatically at checkout until 15 February.

There’s still plenty of winter left to knit up this quick project. )

x Rena

Stitch Markers: Kitties in Clay



I couldn’t resist the polymer clay again. At your suggestion, I made some kitty cat stitch markers! I love them. My actual cats, Ben and Kiki, are intrigued by the figures made from clay. I think they must smell delicious.


Like the puppy stitch markers I showed you yesterday, I’m really happy with the result. I learned from my internet sleuthing that the key to a surface free of fingerprints is using rubbing alcohol to wipe them down. The rubbing alcohol dissolves the surface and leaves it smooth. Hooray! That solves my biggest pet peeve about clay.

A trio of felines.

A trio of felines. The stitch markers kind of look like halos.

Ha ha, I said pet peeve! Get it? Ok, I’ll stop with the bad jokes. Although I clearly have been exploring the domesticated animal kingdom so far. I think I’ll try bunnies next. And down the road, mini food. Because it’s also ridiculously cute.

Here’s the obligatory tail shot…


Has this blog gone to the cats and the dogs?*

x Rena

* I did say I’d quit with the bad jokes…oops.

Stitch Markers: Fun With Polymer Clay


What can they be?

Yesterday, I was unable to resist the siren call of polymer clay. I know, weird. What’s polymer clay? It’s that fun adult plasticine, or modeling clay, that sets once you bake it in the oven. I got myself some of the stuff the other day, along with some inexpensive modeling tools and jewelry findings. What was I up to?

No, not earrings to bejewel myself with. Or knick knacks. Lately, I’ve had a hankering for colourful, fun stitch markers! I found myself fascinated with them.

I have to say, I’m lucky to have some fun stitch markers already, but with designing, there’s multiple projects on the go simultaneously, and you guessed it… a lack of stitch markers!

So I made several experiments, since I am not familiar with working with polymer clay. I brought out my best pre-school memories of working with clay. And I baked stuff. Finally, I came up with something that worked… puppy stitch markers! I made four of them for now. Although six would be nice! I do have more colours to play with, after all.


Puppy stitch markers!

But I focused, putting my attention deficit inclinations to the side for now. I was mighty pleased with myself. I admired their tails, too.


The butt end of the stitch marker.

And then my next favourite part, their mouths as little ‘o’s of surprise.

puppy 4

So I now have a new set of stitch markers. I somehow doubt I will stop at one set… there’s a whole animal kingdom and more to explore.

What do you think?

x Rena

New Pattern! Thryth Hat for Herdy

herdy cover

This has been a fun week so far, and we’re only at Tuesday! Two sneak peeks and a pattern release to boot. Plus all sorts of fun behind the scenes too.

I would like to introduce the Thryth Hat designed by The Red Fox and Gown for Herdy, a fun British company that I mentioned in my previous post. I love Herdy! And I hope you love the new ear flap hat. I just had to include pom poms and faux thrums. The hat is made from their luxurious bulky Herdywool, which I totally recommend.

The Thryth Hat for Herdy keeps you stylish and your ears toasty during inclement weather year round on all your adventures. The hat is topped with a giant pompom and features earflaps and braids with small pompoms. The hat is available in one adult size.

Skiills Required:
Backward cast on, knit st, purl st, placing st markers, working in the round, stockinette fabric, colourwork, decreases, bind off, sewing, braiding, pompom making, weaving in ends.

Finished Dimensions:
The finished hat fits heads approximately 20” to 23” (51cm – 58.5cm) in circumference.

If you’re interested in a KAL for the new design, check out The Red Fox and Gown group on Ravelry for good times.

What do you think?

x Rena

Sneak Peek: Blythe Doll Bear Hat

blythe bear hat

Pippa in her new bear hat.

This is a double header week of sneak peeks! Today’s sneak peek is a miniature bear hat for a doll. To be specific, the hat fits my Blythe doll, who, after a spa day where she received a sanding, make up and freckles, earned it. I think Pippa looks pretty awesome now in the garden lavender.

I made the hat from some Alessandri Filati Super Kid (70% mohair, 30% silk) in Light Blue, a perfect sort of yarn for making a bear hat. I did a little bit of reckoning and cast on. I think Pippa likes the result.

bear 2

Don’t tell Pippa, but this was also a miniature bear hat practice run to see if I liked the result. Which I’m pretty sure that I do. My dilemma now is whether to make this in people sizes, from infant to adult like the Foxy Business Hat. Which you folks seem to enjoy. So would you enjoy a bear hat too? Should I release the doll pattern too?

x Rena



The Baby Bear Hat is now available for purchase on Etsy.

Fun With Herdy

herdybank cropped

Herdy! If you know of Herdy, you’re probably already smiling. If you are just learning now about Herdy, welcome to the fun world of Herdy wool and giftware. In a nutshell, Herdy is an English company established in northern England’s Lake District selling Herdwick sheep themed items with a modern design twist. They offer sustainable business practices and support local upland fell farmers. Herdy is a nickname for the local Herdwick sheep.

Herdwick Tups in a bachelor flock.

When I discovered Herdy last year, I was fascinated. They have a very distinct, modern style with their giftware, which is what has in part led to their success. Their simple, clean aesthetic is very appealing and tough to resist in their shop. I admit I’ve succumbed and I bet I will again sometime soon. They have everything from knitting notions to kitchenware, stationary to throws and more.


I ordered a set of Herdy stitch markers because they were way too cute and bright to resist.

And for Christmas, my sister very kindly bought me a peeping Herdy tote. It has plenty of pockets to hold your notions and it’s roomy enough to take along even your largest knitting project.


I would love a set of these adorable mugs…

herdy-peep-mug-group…to add to my collection of sheep mugs. They’re so lovely!

Or even a salt and pepper shaker set:

Salt&Pepper-grey-clipI would be remiss if I did not mention Herdy’s new line of wool, Herdywool. Their new line of wool is in bulky weight, and it is incredibly soft and squishy. Ask me how I know… yes, I’ve happened to acquire some lovely wool. Keeping true to their local credentials, Herdywool is sourced in Britain. There currently are seven colours in their palette, including green, blue, pink, purple, orange, grey and ecru. The story about how I came to have said wool I will save for another post, soon! My lips are sealed until then.

Most importantly, they have a section of their website devoted to Herdy fun. Who doesn’t love fun? There are goodies from Herdy graphic desktop wallpaper, a link to an adorable free Herdwick sheep knitting pattern, and last but not least, Herdy short films. Watch Herdy hijinks in the hills and more. Trust me, it’s worth it.

So, welcome to my love affair with Herdy. This post is also a hint of something exciting to come…

x Rena

Flash Anniversary Sale! Or… Free!

photo 5

Just as the title promises, I’m having a flash anniversary sale to celebrate 1 year of The Red Fox and Gown! Yes, it’s true! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been designing for… well, it’s probably a couple of years now but a year before I actually started up The Red Fox and Gown.

So, here’s the offer:

Choose 1 pattern from the current catalogue of The Red Fox and Gown for your free download. The offer is valid for a very limited time through 20 May, 4pm Pacific time to 22 May 23.59pm. Celebrate with knitting and spread the word! Use the code ‘anniversary’ at checkout to receive 1 free pattern of your choice.

All I ask is that if you can, please post finished items up on Ravelry on the pattern pages for all to see! 🙂

Happy knitting!

x Rena

Recommended Reading: The Principles of Knitting

The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt (revised edition).

The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt (revised edition).

If you were going to purchase a book on knitting, and only one book on the topic, I wholeheartedly recommend the revised edition of The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt (2012), published by Touchstone, New York. As the cover notes, the book is a comprehensive guide to knitting. I’m usually skeptical when I see books proclaiming that they are the complete guide or even a comprehensive guide on a topic, but this book does not disappoint.

Make no mistake: this is a hefty hardcover book at 712 pages in length. Although this may seem daunting, the book is written in a very accessible style and easy to follow for even the most novice of knitters. As well, the book has plenty of black and white line illustrations and photographs to accompany the text.

Table of contents.

Table of contents.

Of all my crafting books, this is the book I go to again and again. June Hemmons Hiatt covers virtually all topics a knitter’s heart can desire. Want to learn about cast on methods? Want to learn about colourwork? Want to learn about selecting yarn appropriate for your project? Go straight to the section. You do not need to read this book cover to cover to understand a topic she presents. I cannot emphasize enough what a useful guide this is. The table of contents above gives you a sneak peek into the array of topics covered.

Purling directions.

Purling directions.

I have to admit that I am one that is very leery of written directions when it comes to knitting (or most things, if I’m honest). I love visuals, especially video, to illustrate a technique. However, the written directions in this book are so clear that even I can follow them without an issue. They should be clear enough to beginners too. I only wish I had this book ten years ago when I was learning to knit – it would have saved me a lot of grief! On the subject of the purl stitch, she has several line illustrations and a thorough and clear discussion of how to purl in a variety of styles.

Knitting belt.

Knitting belt.

She has included some fascinating, less common areas of knitting knowledge too. One example is her overview of how to use a knitting belt. Until this book, I had heard of knitting belts in passing but I had no idea what they looked like or how they were used. This method is used rarely now, but it was common in 1800s Britain, which then evolved into ‘parlour style’ knitting. Such a contrast to today’s ‘do you knit English or Continental style?’. I love history, and the historical information about knitting is very interesting.

Alsace wool carpet, 1781.

Alsace wool carpet, 1781.

A favourite page of mine in the book (p.266 in case you want to know!) is a photograph of the Alsace wool carpet depicting Jacob’s Dream made in 1781. I love studying this image. The carpet was made using intarsia and a great deal of time and patience. Truly it is the work of a master of intarsia.

Handknitted carpet depicting Jacob's dream, Alsace, 1781 (wool).

Handknitted carpet depicting Jacob’s dream, Alsace, 1781 (wool).

The only drawback to the book is its lack of colour illustrations, but I can see how the costs would be prohibitive. Above is the same illustration of Jacob’s Dream from Alsace, but shown in colour to greater visual impact. I think the use of colour would have gone a long way to support the historical items in this book, as well as the colourwork sections.

However, I wouldn’t let the lack of colour in this book hold you back from picking up a copy of this classic reference work on knitting. At $45.00 a copy, I think it’s a bargain, but you can pick up a copy for less than the list price if you search – has this book listed for about $28.00. You won’t regret having this valuable reference on your shelf and I promise you will refer to it time and again.

x Rena