Fox Paws – Not Your Average Knitting Pattern

Have you ever seen a knitting pattern and instantly knew you HAD to make it? It’s happened to me more than once.

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My latest must do pattern was Fax Paws by Zandy Peters. What’s more I knew right away that I wanted to make it using handspun yarn.

And what’s better than handspun yarn? Hand dyed yarn of course!

And what’s better than handspun, hand dyed yarn? Handspun that was dyed using all natural dyes.

So in case you haven’t figured it out – that’s just what I did.

If you follow my blog on a regular basis, then you’ve seen the posts about the dye days.

1st there was the Goldenrod and Goldenrod with Iron. Dyeing Fiber the Natural Way.

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That was followed by Natural Logwood Dye on Wool.

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I did some Cochineal after that, but it was too vivid to use on this project. I mean REALLY!

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But then came the Madder Root. This was a perfect color to add to my project.

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Next up was Black Walnut. Always a favorite.

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And finally, something I hadn’t tried before – Chestnuts! This was a pleasant surprise to say the least!

Now that I had all of my roving dyed, I needed to concentrate on getting the yarn spun. Knowing that it was all for one project, put some added pressure on to ensure that all of my yarn was the same size (more or less). I checked my singles regularly to be certain I did not stray too far from the desired thickness. My 2 ply needed to be a fingering weight to work well with the pattern.

Finally, after many hours sitting at my Kromski Spinning Wheel, I had achieved my goal and I was ready to begin working on the knitting pattern.

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I drew out my plan on the included worksheet, did my gauge swatch, and cast on…

Oh, my… This is not a pattern for the faint at heart! I repeated the sequence in my head with such intense concentration that I began to hear it in my sleep! Knit one, yarn over, knit again in the same stitch, slip back 2, knit one, yarn over, knit again in the the same stitch, slip back 2… over and over… Then there are the knit 5 together, slip back 2, knit 3 together, slip back 2, knit 3 together… etc… wheew.

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After reading some of the comments on Ravelry, I opted to use stitch markers to help me keep track of things. They had to be moved one or two stitches on most rows, but they still helped tremendously.

The most difficult part was on rows 4 and 5, simply because the it got so tight on the needles. It was physically hard to knit . I literally wore the edge of my needle off making this!

Yet, it truly was worth it. The pattern, although difficult, was very well written.

It took many hours of hard knitting – not the relaxing kind of knitting either. However,  the end result is stunning. I’m anxious for cooler weather so I can wear it!

And as a final note – I won 1st Place at the Georgia National Fair AND the Sponsor Award for Natural Dye!!!

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13 Responses to Fox Paws – Not Your Average Knitting Pattern

  1. Melanie says:

    Wow! Great job. I remember the Yarn Harlot knit this awhile back. You may want to check her blog also.

  2. Joss says:

    I’m also a crocheter, but love this look. I’m going to try crocheting something similar. There’s a similar crochet pattern at mypico.com – http://www.mypicot.com/1021.html

  3. Debra Bird says:

    Could u send me the pattern?

  4. Deb says:

    Beyond beautiful! Is there a crochet pattern that compares? I’m fairly comfortable with crochet, however I just recently held knitting needles for the first time. With that said maybe in a few years I might be competent enough to read the pattern, maybe. Lol

  5. Sarah says:

    Fox Paws is on my list, too, but with scrap yarn, once I attain this level. Your piece is incredible, and the spinning/dye choices make it art. Congratulations on the well earned awards.

  6. Stella Brown says:

    That is a work of art! I found your picture of it on Pintrest and today I thought I would check it out and give it a go. Now I am thinking it might be “just a bit” over my head. I am the one who frogs every other row when knitting lace! So, I’ll just say, you do beautiful and amazing work! I might try it another day, um, year…

    • Dona says:

      Thank you! It is a bit of a challenge, but defiantly something to strive for. Keep knitting and one day I’m sure you will feel confident to try it. When you do – post a pic so we can see!

  7. Annie says:

    Dona,
    I judged the handspun knitting at the Georgia National Fair this year. Your scarf is just amazing! I have been looking at the Fox Paws pattern for about a year now, planning to knit it, so I know how complicated the knitting is. On top of that, your spinning and your dyeing were superb. You were more than worthy of First Place. On top of that, I campaigned hard to give you the “Best In Show” (it’s called something else, but I can’t think of it right now), but I was outvoted. If it had been solely up to me, though, the prize would have been yours. Congratulations on a beautiful project!