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Small, Quick Projects for the Dog Days of Summer

It’s hot. I think it’s hot just about everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. My friends in LA and Oregon have been talking about trees becoming sunburned and the forests dying. And we here on the East Coast are stuck in the heat and humidity of summer.

Knitting becomes more of a chore in summer. Even so, I feel like I need to have the rhythmic motion of slip, wrap, slide of each stitch to let my mind get into a flow and to let my mind wander. I don’t want a big project that is sitting in my lap. I want something small and light.

I have some perfect little cowls that fit the bill. They are quick. They are smallish. The yarn is Oh-So Soft and gives your fingers joy just touching it.

What are they? They are my Zephyrette Cowls. Zephyrette is our signature yarn. It is made from soft baby alpaca fleece with long, strong silk and the king of all softness: Cashmere. Alpaca is cool to the touch. So it is a good choice for summer knitting.

There are 3 choices of pattern: Lacy Cowl, Interlaken and Rivulet.

Here’s how you get a kit for a project. First, go here and pick a color of zephyrette. There are so many choices. You just need one skein. Then go here and pick a pattern. Click on the shopping cart and check out. Your new project will be out in the mail to you and you will get it within days.

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Next Crafting Event: Hellenics Games 2021

That’s what I’m going to call it anyway. In years past, there were Ravelry groups and the event was called Ravellenics. But since it’s basically crickets on Ravelry, I’m picking my name.

So here’s what this event is about…. It is an event for all crafters. The goal is to craft each and every day of the current Olympic games. Each crafter can set their own goal as well. Some people in the past have set the goal to start and finish a particular project during those 2 weeks, such as a pair of socks or a hat or maybe an embroidery.

My goal is to make good progress towards my new Fibershed, handspun top. I will be casting on Friday and working towards completion. I’m not sure I can get enough knitting time to actually finish but I would like to be about half way done by that time. My ultimate goal is to have that top ready by the Fall Fiber shows: Shenandoah and Rhinebeck.

I am forming a team for this year’s games. Are you ready? The opening ceremonies are Friday. And the closing ceremonies are August 8th. That’s 2 weeks. To be a part of my team follow my Facebook group here. Introduce yourself and let us know what your goal is. Each day I will start a thread about that day so that you can post your updates and some photos. It is really fun to be a part of a community all working at the same time. What will you be making?

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New Podcast: Tips and Tricks for Spinners

In this episode, I share 9 tips and tricks that will take you from preparing your fiber until setting the twist in your yarn.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify or click here to get to the episode.

You would rather watch the podcast? You can watch it on Vimeo here.

And I’ve posted many of the tips here on YouTube.

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Thoughts on Summer Knitting

This summer has been really weird, right? No matter where you live in the US and probably even in the world. There have been crazy heat waves, crazy storms and early hurricanes and even historic droughts in the West.

Hay waiting to be cut

Here in the East we have had the hot and muggy days for a couple of weeks now. It is hard to think about knitting, but even so my fingers are itching to pick up the needles and my mind really needs the “down time” that knitting provides. The quiet space where I am making and I can stop thinking. Does that happen to you?

So I was thinking about what I would like to knit or spin in this heat. And what jumped into my head is alpaca. Alpaca is cool to the touch. I don’t quite know what causes the phenomena. But it is true. Our Zephyrette yarn is baby alpaca, cashmere and silk. It is perfect for summer knitting. I have designed 4 cowls with this yummy yarn. The patterns come in a variety of skill levels and all take just one skein of yarn! These cowls make great, quick gifts too!!

I was also thinking that small projects that wouldn’t cover my lap would be a nice thing to make during the summer. So I’m thinking a cowl or mittens or a hat even socks could fit the bill.

Weaverly cowl up close

Let’s make some great alpaca based projects while the summer is hot!

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TOTW: Video Tips for Spinners

It’s Tour de Fleece right now. We are in the last week. There are many challenge days as the cyclists are in the Pyrennes, climbing up and racing down mountains. I am hignlighting some tips for handspinners. These originate during my FaceBook Live presentations (Thursdays at 1pm on the Flying Goat Farm Page).

In this video I talk about how to manage your fiber when making a large project, such as a sweater or spinning an entire fleece.

And here is a video about pre-drafting. I know that this is a controversial topic. I pre-draft nearly everything that I spin. In this video, I tell you why I do it and why you should too.

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New Podcast: Resources for Hand Spinners

In this episode, I talk about some of my very favorite resources on the bookshelf. Some of the books include: The Intentional Spinner, Yarnitecture, Intertwined, The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Design, Color in Spinning, A New Look at Color, Spinning and Dyeing Yarn, Start Spinning and The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook with it’s companion, A Field Guide to Fleece. Lisa also recommends some spinning teachers to follow including Jillian Moreno, Judith MacKenzie, Maggie Casey, Esther Rodgers and Alanna Wilcox.

Click here to listen to the podcast

Click here to watch the Vimeo video

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TOTW: Why you need to knit gauge switches the same way you will knit the garment

I KNOW!!! You don’t want to do a gauge swatch. But in reality there are some good reasons to do that. Especially when you are making a garment that needs to fit. In this video, I’m sharing the way that I make a gauge swatch that will give me the MOST information. This is particularly important if you are making a garment from handspun yarn. The Tour de Fleece is going on right now. It’s day 3 in fact, only18 more days to go. Many of us are spinning to make a wearable item. You knit swatch will give you information on the gauge, right? But it will also give you information about how a lace or cable section might look. It will also give you a swatch that you can use to see if this is going to be the kind of garment you can wear next to the skin or if you need an undergarment too. So I hope you watch this video and learn some lessons that I’ve learned through trial and a bunch of errors!!

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Tip and Trick: Help with Reading Charts

In this installment of Tips and Tricks, I tell you about one of my favorite ways to keep track of my progress in a chart. I show you the highlighter tape that I use. It is important to make the pattern easy for you to follow so that you have a fun and more stress free time knitting. So even if a designer doesn’t think you need a modification, you can still do it for you! Embrace what you need and keep the fun in knitting!!

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Spinning Our Way Through France: New Podcast

No, I’m not really in France! I wish!!! More than you know!!! Well maybe you do know that already.

A new episode of our podcast dropped this morning. It’s all about the Tour de Fleece 2021. If you’ve never heard of it, if you’ve known but never participated, you can find out about the tour, about my experiences and how to join our team.

You can listen to the podcast here. click on the link to episode 11.

Would you rather watch through You Tube? You can find it here.