Tour de Fleece 2020 – part 1?

Tour de Fleece was a bit different this year. Normally following the schedule of the Tour de France, with coronavirus postponing the cycling it was decided to follow the original schedule, as the rescheduled bike ride may not happen later in August/September.

So I dug out my fibre (all from Hilltop Cloud) and set to work.

A table full of hand-dyed fibre.

Starting with a gradient pack of Parrakeet (50% merino, 32.5% South American Wool, 12.5% baby llama, 5% viscose tweed nepps), I spun the first pack over days 1 and 2, the second on days 3 and 4, plying them together on day 5.

1,398 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn.

A close-up of purple-green gradient handspun yarn.

Day 6 and I started on 3 braids of a Rambouillet gradient (100g each). I began by splitting the braid lengthways 4 times, so that I could ply two lengths together for sweater sleeves. I spun one quarter braid on day 6, and two more on day 7. On day 8 I spun the final quarter braid, plied the first two quarters together, and started spinning a full braid. Day 9 continued the spinning of the first full braid, which was completed on day 10 along with plying the second two quarters together. The remaining full braid was spun over days 11 and 12, and plied across days 13 and 14.

2,032 yards of light fingering/lace weight 2ply yarn.

A close-up of blue-orange-purple gradient handspun yarn.

Day 15 I split a braid of 75% Blue Faced Leicesters, 25% ramie gradient lengthways 4 times and spun 3 of the quarter braids up. I then took a rest day the following day (originally scheduled for much earlier) before finishing the 4th quarter on day 16. I also plied two quarters on day 16 and started on a full braid of the gradient. I finished spinning that braid on day 17. Day 18 was spent plying the remaining two quarters and spinning about half of a final braid. This braid was finished on day 19, and plied on day 20. This left me with just the skeining to do on day 21, taking the final Sunday as the second rest day with just photos and project updating to do.

1,476 yards of 2-ply light fingering weight yarn.

A close-up of blue-green handspun yarn.

A total of 902g of fibre spun up into 4,906 yards of yarn.

Multiple skeins of handspun gradient yarns.

Still plenty of fibre left if the Tour does go ahead later in the summer.

Going solo

Unfortunately today I had to close my ravelry download store. It came to my attention that despite being provided with evidence by multiple people that certain elements of the new website design posed a risk of causing seizure and migraine, the team is continuing to use these elements in the download email that accompanies a pattern purchase. These elements (primarily the drop shadows) remain even if the purchase is made by a member who is using the classic ravelry skin, or has turned off the more damaging elements in their profile.

This leaves me no choice but to suspend my ravelry store so as not to expose any customers to this risk.

I do not take this decision lightly, as ravelry has a monopoly in the fibre world, and I will lose income as a result of taking my sales off this platform (though they will still appear in the database). But I feel that this is the only option available to me, as it is not possible to customise the download emails to remove these elements.

Any purchases made through ravelry will continue to be available in your library, or accessible via your original download email. All patterns are now available here in my pattern store.

Screenshot of pattern store

New pattern store now open!

Back in late 2014 I had to move my pattern sales away from my own website due to the new EU rules applying VAT on digital sales base on the location of the buyer. This was all too much for me to track, so I outsourced all of my sales to ravelry who handled the VAT for me.

Now that ravelry has become inaccessible and dangerous for some people following their recent styling choices, I have decided to bring my pattern sales back in-house. They will also remain available for sale on ravelry, but for anyone who cannot or does not want to use the pattern sales feature there, all individual patterns are now available here in my pattern store.

I am still working on getting the ebooks moved over (I am hoping to do this via bundled purchase discounts rather than having to set up even more links for people to have to click through) and the styling’s not quite where I want it yet. But I wanted the priority to be providing access to the patterns for people who want them.

I have used all standard, tried and tested, WordPress and Woocommerce plug-ins, so there is no need to worry that you are being treated as any sort of guinea pig. That said, if you do find any problems, please let me know and I will try and fix them asap.


Digital pattern downloads

Due to the ongoing accessibility issues at ravelry, I am working on adding the ability to download my free patterns, and buy my paid-for patterns directly from this website. At this time I cannot guarantee that I will be able to offer paid-for downloads to EU residents due to the onerous digital VAT regulations, but will pursue all options available to me.

While I am setting all of this up, if you would like to download one of the free patterns listed at the free patterns link above, or buy one of my paid-for patterns, but do not want to/cannot safely access the ravelry website where they are currently hosted, please drop me an email at alice at doggrelldesigns dot com and we’ll work it out.

Accessibility warning for those accessing ravelry

It has come to my attention that the recent changes to the ravelry website (where my patterns are sold) are potentially dangerous for people with seizure and/or migraine indicators. An option has been given to switch to the old styling while work is undertaken to mitigate these issues, but you have to navigate the new styling in order to do so.

If you have an urgent need to buy any of my patterns, please let me know and I can arrange for this to take place without you having to access ravelry (but will ensure that you still have your pattern saved in your ravelry library as well as a digital copy emailed directly to you).

I can be emailed at alice at doggrelldesigns dot com.

Floral lace poncho

Pattern release day: Floral lace poncho

This fun floral lace poncho is great for wrapping up on cool summer nights. Featuring an all-over floral lace pattern, with contrast diagonal flowers you can wear this in multiple ways.

A delicate picot edging both starts and finishes this poncho.

The instructions are provided in both chart and line-by-line written formats, to suit all knitters.

Finished size is 64“/163cm square, 29“/74cm straight drop from neck to edge.You can find more pictures by clicking the image above, and can buy the pattern here: Floral Lace Poncho.

Lightning shawl

Pattern release day: Staccato Lightning Shawl

A simple, but effective lace pattern inspired by the extensive branching found in staccato lightning, this large lace shawl features an easy to memorise lace pattern, and delicate attached edging.

Instructions are both written and charted, and the pattern uses only knits, purls, k2tog, ssk and yarnovers to achieve the effect.

After blocking the wingspan is 73”/186cm, the depths is 45”/114cm and the diagonal length is 58”/147cm.

For more images click on the photo above.

You can buy it here: Staccato Lightning Shawl.

Conygar shawl

Pattern release day: Conygar shawl

Inspired by the flint arrowheads found at the Conygar Hill barrow in Dorset, this crescent shawl is a perfect Spring cover-up.

Light and airy, this easy to memorise lace pattern uses only ssk, k2tog and sk2p decreases and regular yarnovers. Bordered with a double-sided floral lace pattern to mimic the flowers which grow on the barrow, it is edged with a simple pointed garter motif which makes it easy to thread through blocking wires and shape.

The instructions are both written and charted out, and a tally chart is provided with repeat quantities and stitch counts throughout the pattern.

Click here to buy it now: Conygar Shawl.

You can see more images by clicking on the picture below.

Pattern release day: Beryllium set

It’s been hot and sunny during lockdown, but the weather is on the turn and don’t forget the wise words “Ne’er cast a clout till May be out”. I’ve been working on a couple of hat, cowl and wrister sets in fingering weight yarn which are perfect for this in-between weather.

The Beryllium set features a neat cable that gives a honeycomb effect, trapping extra air for additional warmth. It’s also reversible, so as long as you are careful with any yarn joins and weaving in your ends, you don’t have to pay attention when you pick any of the items up. Just pop them on and luxuriate in the warmth.

You can buy the patterns here for the: hat, cowl or wristers.

You can also find more images by clicking on the picture below.

Alpe D'Huez

Pattern release day: Alpe d’Huez set

Inspired by the switchbacks of the Alpe d’Huez and shown here in Tour de France leader yellow, the striking chevron pattern of this cowl, hat and wristers set is both reversible, and super warm.

Only using basic stitches (knit, purl, and decreases for the hat/increases for the wristers) this set is simple to complete whilst also being visually striking.

Available to buy here individually as the hat, cowl or wristers.

You can see more images by clicking on the picture below.