Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall is Here

With Fall officially upon us, I have two great cold weather projects to share with you today.

These are Heidi's version of "Druid Mittens" (pattern by Jared Flood from Vogue Knitting Fall 2008) knit in FF Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn in the Lust colorway.

Aren't they great?! Check out the lovely details in this closeup:

You can see more of Heidi's beautiful work on Ravelry where she is Saccade. And I do mean more! Heidi has more than 200 projects posted on Ravelry so if you're looking for inspiration for your next project, go have a look!

Next up is Erica's One Row Scarf (from the Yarn Harlot) knit with FF DK Alpaca/Wool Yarn in the Bountiful colorway.

For those of you who've visited here for a while, you may recall that this is one of my favorite simple patterns for a winter scarf. It's a one-row repeat, which means you can knit a bit here and there without missing a beat and you also get a lovely scarf that's the same on both front and back.

Such a simple little piece yet so lovely! For more of Erica's beautiful work, pop on over to her blog or visit her on Ravelry where she is Dreamsinfiber.

A big Thank You to Heidi and Erica for sharing their work!

Monday, September 22, 2008

From Neck to Toe

This lovely piece is Nora's neckwarmer, knit with a combination of FF merino in Hush together with Habu Lambswool. I just love this piece! It has an understated elegance that really appeals to me. In fact, all of Nora's work that I saw in perusing her blog has that general aesthetic. Pop on over to Nora's blog to see more!

Now let's head down to the toes for more warm woolen goodness . . .

These are Linda Jo's Charade Socks (pattern by Sandra Park) knit with FF Superwash Merino Sock Yarn in the Midnight Passion colorway.

These beauties won Linda Jo a blue ribbon at the 2008 North Idaho Fair. How cool is that?! You can see more of Linda Jo's lovely work on her blog or on Ravelry where she is BeadKnitter.

A big Thank You to Nora and Linda Jo for sharing their work!

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's Not Just Yarn Here

Since I don't want to bore you with another photo of my current WIP (the large wrap in the woven stitch pattern that is no different now than last time shown, except in size), I thought I'd show you that it's not just yarn that's made here at FF Central.

This is from our bathroom-in-progress. I couldn't get a shot of the entirety since the bathroom's not that large, but you get the idea. It's a floor to ceiling built-in linen closet that my husband put into the bathroom.

Then there's the new bathroom vanity that's underway.

We've got the sink and faucets ready to go, but we're waiting on granite tiles for the countertop. My husband is usually deadset against granite tiles because he doesn't like the look of how they need to be edged, but we found some that come with the edge already on them that look really nice and smooth and perfect. Unfortunately, the ones I fell in love with were on a long backorder so we had to go with a second choice. The tiles I wanted had a rough, natural stone look but I can't wait two months to get my sink back, so we had to go with a glossy granite. Ah well. It will still be pretty. We've got the sink and faucets already purchased, so we'll be ready to go once the tiles arrive and the countertop is in. (I'm desperately in love with the new faucets. Isn't that silly?)

The doors of the vanity still need to be made and there's also going to be a box of sorts that connects across the top of the two towers at the sides. The lighting will be within the box. There will be no medicine chest, but rather a mirror framed to match the vanity. We built the tower cabinets on the sides of the vanity to give tons of space for medicine-chest sort of things.

The vanity is also built with legs, rather than all the way to the floor, to give that "furniture" look to it. I thought this would be a good way to go to keep the vanity from appearing too heavy and dominant. I had that planned from the start for this bathroom, so when we tiled a year ago we carried the floor right through to the area that would be under the vanity.

You can see a bit of my tile job there :) The tiles in the shower are these same rough porcelain tiles in light sage. (Pardon the dirty floor. It's a construction zone after all.)

Bruce also built a new window frame and sill for the bathroom. Molding to match what will be the molding around the floor will also be added beneath the sill.

You would think with all of this plus what we already did on this room (expansion by three feet including moving plumbing, tile on floors and shower, replaced toilet, new drywall and paint) that we would be close to done. Not really, though. The vanity alone still has a lot of work with doors, lighting above, mirror, etc to be done, but then we also need to get a shower door (shower curtain looks awful in this room), molding needs to be created and installed, new vent fan is needed (big hole in the ceiling right now), and new light fixture in addition to the one above the vanity. We also need a new bathroom door. In fact, all of the interior doors will eventually be replaced. And yes, my wood-loving husband is making all of the doors himself. He's still working on a prototype, but they will basically be oak doors with recessed panels. I fear that everytime someone shuts a door, the whole house will shake! He's working on a strategy for that.

In addition to the bathroom, there's been a bit more work in the living room. This is an awful photo, with the flash doing weird things to the look of the finish ...

The finish is actually really pretty, but it looks awful in this photo. The wood is cherry and it's finished in two tones with the main finish in the usual cherry shade and the panels on the doors in a slightly honey shade. The unit is tucked into a space in the living room that's recessed under where the stairs go up. It was kind of a dead space before, so Bruce made it a home for the TV (that's Cash Cab he's watching :) with lots of extra storage.

And so you see, it's not just yarn that's made here at FF headquarters!

And as you can also see, I will be living in a construction zone for a long time to come. We haven't even touched the kitchen yet. All in good time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Think Pink

A bit of pretty pink to start your week on a happy note . . .

This lovely scarf was knit by Suzy using FF Laceweight Merino Yarn in the Antique Rose colorway. The pattern is the Wabenschal Scarf by Birgit Freyer.

Suzy's quite the prolific knitter! You can see more of her work on her blog or on Ravelry where she is dragonschest (note the dragon wearing the scarf in the first photo :)

In keeping with a pink theme for today, here's a lovely pair of Spring Forward Socks by Vickie (pattern by Linda Welch):

Vickie used FF Superwash Merino Wool Lightweight Sock Yarn in the Chastity colorway. The color has shades of pink, peach and hints of yellow. Although it looks mostly pink above, here you can see it posing with more of a peach tone:

Such lovely work! You can see more of Vickie's beautiful work on Ravelry where she is knestaut.

A big Thank You to Suzy and Vickie for sharing their work!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh My!

Just a little teaser photo for you today . . .

This is the new Tight Twist Superwash Merino Sock Yarn that I'll be introducing in just a couple of days. This first batch includes eight of the most popular FF colorways. The yarn is a 100% merino with a very tight twist that yields a firm and sturdy fabric.

It also has great memory, so it's easy to produce nice and even stitches.

In addition to the new sock yarn, I've also got four new Laceweight Merino colorways waiting in the wings. Here's one for a sneak preview:

I'm targeting Friday morning to have the listings up in my shop for these new items. Lots of good things coming so stay tuned!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Two for One

For today's customer project feature, I have two great projects from Kelly. Both use FF Superwash Merino Sock Yarn in the Chocolate Pink Cherry colorway.

The socks are Web Socks: Fancy Rib Variation, from Interweave Knits Online Winter 2005. Just as cute as can be!

Kelly had a good amount of yarn left over after finishing the socks and found a great use for it. She was making the Littlearrowhead Shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 2006 issue and ran short of the yarn she was using (a mysterious fuzzy pink yarn found in a sale bin). The extra Chocolate Pink Cherry Sock Yarn was a nice complement and so she finished off with that yarn.

(Apologies for the small photo. I couldn't get it to resize without turning blurry.)

Isn't it lovely?! As Kelly mentioned, highly variegated yarn isn't always the best choice for lace but it worked out really well as an edging to finish off this piece:

I love to see folks using leftover yarn creatively and Kelly certainly did a great job in finding a good use for hers!

You can check out more Kelly's work (and get a better view of the shawl) on Ravelry where she is beanstealer.

Are you inspired now? Go knit!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Flying Sticks

Since finishing my latest lace shawl project last week, my sticks have been flying on a new project. I'm definitely learning that I do best if I try to work on one project from start to finish, rather than having several things going at once. It's just too easy otherwise for me to lose steam on a project and never finish. Knowing that I won't cast on something new until the current project is finished also helps motivate me through that final 20% or so, which is often the longest stretch for me.

The new project is a warm wrap in a woven stitch made my FF Heavy Worsted Merino Wool Yarn. My house is pretty drafty (we need to do something about that soon!) and it gets really cold in the winter. I knit a throw blanket to keep my husband warm while watching TV or lounging about in the winter months, but also wanted something for myself. The thought of another endless blanket project was not very appealing so I settled on the idea of a really large wrap shawl that I could curl up in and also get up for a trip to kitchen or to check e-mail taking the warmth along with me.

The piece is just flying off the sticks! It's about 25 inches or so wide (although it's curled at the edges and will need blocking) and will be a good 80 inches in length once complete.

(Indie, of course, insisted on being in the photo, although he wasn't much in the mood for any cute posing.)

The stitch is the simplest of woven stitches: Just a K1, SL1 with yarn in front, repeated across on the right side and purl across on the wrong side. Then on the next K1, SL1 row, it's staggered over by one, so basically it's like a SL1, K1 instead of a K1, SL1. And on and on, repeating four total rows.

Sometimes the simplest of stitches are the most beautiful and this is definitely one of those, in my opinion. It's also really easy to fall into a steady rhythm and just go, go, go with the inches quickly adding up.

All in all, this simple piece has really captured my heart. I've used this yarn previously for a hat and scarf set, but this is my first larger project and I have to say that I'm head-over-heels in love. It's a thick yarn that falls on the heavy end of the worsted spectrum, just shy of bulky. For a more structured garment, I would use a US #9 needle (perhaps a #10 for a tighter knitter). For this less-structured piece, I wanted to have a nice drape so I went with a US 10.5. The resulting fabric is truly glorious. It's supple and soft and drapey and lovely. I find myself stopping every few rows just to look at the fabric and to squish it between my fingers.

In fact, I've fallen so entirely in love with this yarn that I have no doubt that there's a sweater in my future. But I must follow my rules. First, I need to finish this project. There's also another project brewing in my head for a while that I may want to do first. But then, sweater time for sure!

Everyone have a lovely weekend and get those sticks flying!

Monday, September 01, 2008

That Time Again

Here it is Monday yet again and time to share more projects! I have two wildly differing projects to show you today.

First is Teri's Pear & Trellis Scarf made with FF Laceweight Merino in the Sunny Peach colorway.

The pattern is another great KnitSpot design. The pattern as written uses my Laceweight Alpaca and has a lighter and less crisply defined look to the lace. It's lovely as well in Teri's version using the Laceweight Merino. The pattern really pops with the slightly weightier yarn without the halo of the alpaca:

To see more of Teri's lovely work, you can find her on Ravelry where she is treefrog303.

Now that we've seen elegant and sophisticated, let's move on to too cute for words:

This is Suzy's rendition of the Toddler Potholder Hat. She used FF Laceweight Merino in the Golden Olive colorway combined with FF Sportweight Superwash Merino Wool in Saltillo. What a great use of leftover bits of yarn! Just darling!

For more of Suzy's work, you can visit her blog or find her on Ravelry where she is DragonsChest.

That's all for this morning. Hope everyone is having a lovely long weekend!