There are a few things I cannot resist: lemon meringue pie, puppies, red lipstick, and fine alpaca yarns. If you put either of those in front of me, I am helpless. So, when I was asked if I wanted to have a look at Cumulus, a new alpaca/silk lace yarn from Fyberspates, I jumped at the chance. And Cumulus is indeed the yarn equivalent of a lemon meringue pie; it's impossible to just have a tiny bit. Then I was asked if I would mind of a few knitters had the chance to play with Cumulus using my Florence pattern - and I got terribly nostalgic. I'll tell you why in just a second but first look at this photo I was sent yesterday.
Isn't that just pretty? One of my favourite colour is red but it's so gosh darn it difficult to photograph that I don't use red yarn as often as I'd like. Thank you, Jan, for taking such a great photo!
Florence was one of the first patterns I ever wrote down. I remember being asked for a sweet, pretty scarf pattern by a yarn shop and I came up with Florence. The yarn shop handed out more than 1,500 patterns over the next three months and I was floored. Florence turned out to be one of those patterns that take on a life of its own: it has been downloaded more than 7,000 times on Ravelry and I know several yarn shops have used it for teaching classes. It's one of my few freebies on Ravelry and I took the opportunity to revise/update the pattern now that people were using it to try out Cumulus. The revised version has a couple of changes. I've cleaned it up (I like to think I'm a better pattern writer these days than when I first designed it) and - much more importantly - I have added beading instructions.
(You know what? I think Florence looks just perfect in Cumulus. Rawr. )
A lot of people have used beads on Florence and I have had many emails over the years asking if I could add beading instructions to the pattern. I have made sure the beading is still optional, but I do love how beads add weight to the scarf. It's really great to see that both Jan and Amanda chose to add beads. For my beading instructions, I wanted to emphasise the vertical lines in a pattern that has a lot of things going on horizontally - and also to keep the beading relatively simple and clean.
(Fun fact: Jeni hosted the first ever luxury yarn trunk show I ever visited; I have never spent as much money on a simple skein of yarn as I did at that trunk show. Hey, it was green cashmere/alpaca/silk. It's still in my stash six years on. I told you I was weak in the presence of fine alpaca yarn)