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Brand new Phydeaux base yarns: Down DK

persephone down dk hand dyed yarn phydeaux designs and fiber

It’s a bit of a challenge to create a major change in your line up of base yarns.

But that’s just what I’ve been working on for the last few months.

I’ve been testing various base yarns via limited edition pre-orders, limited edition yarns in kits, and just for myself, never released (because they just didn’t work out right).

Down DK is a yarn that I introduced much earlier this year as a limited edition pre-order:  a super soft MCN that I immediately fell in love with.

Down has that subtle (10%) cashmere halo that you are most likely familiar with.  Along with a touch of smooth silkiness from 10% nylon.  With 80% superwash merino wool, and four firmly twisted plies, this DK is very similar to Phydeaux’s super popular Beurre DK, but so much softer with a touch of fluff.  Kinda like a down comforter.

I really love Down for shawls:  wrapping a swathe of hand knit Down around your neck and shoulders is a treat that you deserve!  When (if?) I have the free time, I look forward to knitting a sweater in Down.

suisse shawl knitting pattern by phydeaux designs

Down DK is perfect for two Phydeaux patterns:  Texelle and Suisse.  Texelle has been very popular, being a two skein DK weight shawl with bands of texture.  GREAT for Down DK.  Suisse is very new (I’ll share more about that in another post!) and was designed specifically for Down DK (shown above in the Shell colourway).  This is a super fun knit that is just so pretty in Down.

You can order Down DK in any of Phydeaux’s current colourways right here. Go take a look and then come back to share which color and pattern you’d most like to use with Down!

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Brand new Phydeaux base yarns: Angelique

melisandre angelique phydeaux hand dyed yarn

I’ve spent the last few months in search of new base yarns to replace Phydeaux’s super popular Caresse line.

(I know, I’m heartbroken too, but after waiting weeks and weeks, turned into months and months for my orders for this yarn, I think it’s past time to move on…)

But!  Just wait until you see the amazingly luscious yarns that I’ve chosen for Phydeaux. You will die.  In a good way.

I’ll tell you a bit about each new yarn over the next week or two and we’ll start with the very best first.

The very most luscious new yarn is just above, in the deep red Melisandre colourway:  Angelique.

Oo la la, Angelique!  This is the most luxurious yarn I’ve had the pleasure to dye.  I know I say this a lot, always looking for even more luxurious yarns, but good golly, Angelique is amazing.

70% baby alpaca, 20% cashmere and 10% silk.  In a three-ply fingering weight, 435 yards in a 100 gram skein? Soft, silky, sumptuous.

Angelique will knit up into gorgeous sweaters, as well as really lovely shawls, scarves and other accessories.  I wouldn’t recommend this for socks – not the best for the abuse that feet put socks through (but maybe that’s just me?).  But … what about a lace thigh high stocking for a super special occasion (like a wedding)?  Wow.

Angelique is available for pre-order at Phydeaux Designs & Fiber in any of Phydeaux’s base colors.  I do have plans for some kits in the near future.

Go see Angelique right here, and then tell me in the comments what you would most like to knit up using this truly amazing yarn!

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Teaberry Crescent Shawl and a Knitalong

teaberry crescent shawl

I’m often a little shy to say out loud, “WOW, how pretty!” when I share one of my own patterns.  But this lovely crescent shawl, designed by Claudia Donnelly for Phydeaux Designs & Fiber, really IS pretty and I have no problem saying so out loud!

Claudia approached me last year about designing a crescent shawl using Soie fingering weight in the (then) new colourway, Danaerys.  And she definitely designed a winner:  just so beautiful.

teaberry crescent shawl

Teaberry is a long crescent, worked with increases rather than short rows (in case you’re short row-phobic).

The body is worked in garter stitch, perfect for a weekend or two of marathon Netflix.

The edge is a knitted on lace pattern that blocks beautifully to create a flutter of lacy points.

teaberry crescent shawl edge

Equally beautiful worked in semisolid / tonal or variegated colourways, and absolutely divine knit in the Phydeaux yarn intended by Claudia:  Soie fingering weight.

I originally wrote this post in August and just found that I hadn’t published it.  Sheez!  But I’m sharing with you now, and it’s not too late to join the Teaberry KAL (knitalong) that will start this month in Phydeaux’s Ravelry Group!

You can order and download the pattern by clicking here.

And you can still order the kit in time for the KAL – two skeins of yarn plus the pattern – if you order quickly.

And join the KAL by clicking right here.

Looking forward to seeing you in the KAL!

Find more about Claudia Donnelly Designs on Ravelry and her blog

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Rural life: cooking every night

full dyepots at phydeaux hq
Used to be that when I was super tired after a very long day of dyeing yarn working on multiple deadlines, we’d just go out to eat for dinner.

Those were the days.

When you live 40 minutes from “civilization” (meaning the closest place to buy anything to eat that I don’t have to cook), you cook dinner anyway, regardless of exhaustion levels.

I don’t always do the shopping – Dad ends up going to town more often than I do – which means I often figure out what to eat based on surprise ingredients.

And it’s tricky to keep a dinner balanced if you’ve run out of vegetables, although I’m trying to keep a stock of emergency vegetables in the freezer.

morning sunshine at phydeaux hq in the mountains

Dad likes to eat early, so I have to try to put on my last pot of dye by 3:00 p.m., allowing plenty of time to finish up, spin out and hang yarn, and clean up.

He’s usually starting to ask me what we’re going to eat early in the day. Like 10 in the morning.  I’m not that organized (but will have to start planning the week out as we approach Fall and Winter weather, to make sure we have enough food in case of icy roads)!  And I kinda enjoy making it up on the fly.

But tonight he knew what dinner was going to be and was pretty excited: fried chicken.

I haven’t made fried chicken in … maybe 20 or more years?  Roasted chicken is my thing (with tarragon, fennel and garlic, oh my).

late afternoon at phydeaux hq

But I reached back into my memory of Mom’s fried chicken, consulted the interwebs for oven fried chicken, marinated my chicken in buttermilk overnight, browned it after breading (just flour, baking powder, seasoned salt and fresh ground pepper) in the frying pan and baked it in the oven.

According to Dad (“nom, nom, nom”), it was a success.  But I have some work to do on this.  It was a little mushy (probably not hot enough oil for frying) and it was missing an essential ingredient on further reflection: paprika.  Mom always put paprika in her flour mixture.  Dagnabbit.

In any event, we enjoyed our chicken with an arugula salad and cheddar/garlic biscuits (frozen, sorry, but I do make killer buttermilk biscuits).

I love making salads and tonight’s was very good:

Big handful of arugula, washed and dried
Handful of grapes
A good sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese
Some chopped up walnuts
Chopped up green onion
Italian dressing (I used a spicy dressing, which was a nice contrast with the sweet grapes and creamy feta)

Toss and enjoy – would be very good with grilled fish (we eat a lot of salmon!).

Back to the chicken – what’s your secret for great friend chicken?

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