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Holiday Knitting Part 1: Knits for your hands

Well, I do think it’s time to get started with those holiday gifts. I’ve got some great yarns that will make fantastic gloves, mittens and fingerless mitts.

Our Livily Cormo yarn is a worsted weight yarn that will make wonderful knits for your hands. It’s sister, Trasna, is just a little thinner….as a heavy DK.

I have a mitten pattern available as well. You just pick the color and I’ll add the pattern (just mention mitts in the comment section of your order) and you can get a head start on at least one gift. You can find the pattern here on Ravelry.

I also have some quick fingerless mitt kits available. These kits contain the pattern and a skein of mohair yarn. There are 4 colors available for you to choose from.

Let’s get knitting!!

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FO Friday–Rhinebeck Style

So yes! This is the fastest sweater I’ve ever knitted. And I owed it to all the accountability partners that I had. But sharing my progress on my Facebook Live Thursday shows (1pm), really helped. I had to show you progress. That means I had to make progress. So you know what? It got done.

Iounn Pattern from Knitty. Made with handspun handdyed 3 ply lambswool yarn

I’m ready to cast on another one!! I’ll be swatching with some naturally colored yarns and the Shifty sweater pattern. I want to steek it and of course my yarns are thicker than what is called for… I simply can not do something by the actual recipe. I’m looking forward to more accountability too.

Do you need an accountability partner? Call on me. I’ll show up for you!!

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Is it too early?

I know I’m always asking this question: Is it too early to start thinking about the holidays and gift giving? It’s 72 days until Christmas and it’s only 57 days until Hanukkah. That isn’t much time at all. It’s Amazon Prime day today and I just saw an executive from Walmart talking about how they are going to handle Black Friday deals. (hint: it will be rolling deals starting really soon).

So NO! It’s not too early to think about holiday gift giving. I know that I’ve already started my list. All of my family is out of state, so I have to think about mailing gifts. But these days, mailing gifts might be what most people do.

I always include a hand made gift. I enjoy making presents for my family members. I enjoy thinking about what would be appreciated by them as well.

So this year, I will be making some hand painted dishtowels and felted soaps.

I have lots of quick gifts and quick kits in the store. First up I have kits for mohair handwarmers. They are available in 5 colorways.

I have kits for cowls made with Zephyrette for that relative that will appreciate the softness and luxury of this yarn.

I have kits for shawls including a gradient shawl and one made with Zephyrette.

gradient set shawl

If you are local, you can come and do your shopping here. I have hand dyed silk scarves. I have lovely dyed napkins and dish towels. And of course for that yarn lover, how about some fun yarn to add to their collection.

If you don’t know what to get your special person, you can get a gift certificate and let them pick out their own kit or yarn.

So let’s get making!!

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Podcast 11: Can Slow Fashion Save the Planet?

In this episode, Lisa talks about slow fashion: what is it and how can it help to heal our planet.  She also introduces the Fibershed movement and their call to action.  You can join our Wardrobe project in a special facebook group.

Corosprine Sweater made with natural colored mohair and wool

We can cloth ourselves more mindfully and save the planet from trash, pollution and climate change, one little bit at a time. Listen to the podcast to find out how you can start this journey. Or go to itunes and subscribe so you don’t miss and episode.

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WIP Wednesday–No Rhinebeck Sweater

Iounn Sweater from Knitting

Well the knitting is done. Now on to the blocking and then the steeking. I will block this afternoon and it will take some time to dry. It’s a pretty dense fabric. I got some grosgrain ribbon and you all voted on the leather buttons. Well not all of you…but the consensus was the leather buttons. I have 4 of them. I intend to just put them on the top half of the sweater. I’m leaning towards the brick red ribbon. I have 10 days until Saturday…. I think I can…I think I CAN!!

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Making Plans for the Weekend

Hey this Saturday, going to be open. We are having another Farm Chicks open studio Saturday.

I’ll be open 10am to 3pm on Saturday October 10th. It’s supposed to be great weather, especially earlier in the day. We will have our firepit going and smore packets for anyone who would like to “camp out” with us and knit or spin. We will have chairs and tents. Our yard is so big that it is easy to social distance.

As usual, we will only let 2 people in, unless you are all traveling together anyway. And we will all be wearing our masks. We will have hand sanitizer for you to use as well.

The Farm Chicks ( Flying Goat Farm, Avalon Springs Farm and Dancing Leaf Dyeworks) have collaborated on another colorway. This one is inspired by the lovely campfire photo. Stay tuned this week for my photos of my interpretation.

We have all made some great skeins for you. Collect one or all three. I know that I still have our acorn collaborations skeins on the shelf….I made a lot. LOL!

So I hope I’ll see you on the farm on Saturday!!

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Bonus Podcast: Pandemic Fatigue

Today’s podcast is a bit off my usual topics. I felt that I needed to address what I was feeling last weekend. And I thought that maybe I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling. I thought is was important enough to not only talk about this with my family but to also talk about it with my family of listeners. Last weekend I hit the wall. I was tired. I was frustrated. I was disappointed. I was down right mad too. That is so unlike me. Well not the tired part. But I’m usually a “glass half full” kind of person. I tried to find the best in every situation. But last week I just wasn’t feeling like me.

I happened to listen to Brene Brown’s podcast while going on my walk and what she was talking about really made sense. It gave me an AHA moment. When I got back to the house, I immediately found the article she was talking about. I studied it. And I really had a feeling of relief. What I learned was that we all have a “surge capacity”. An ability to use our inner strength to get things down and survive in a short term disaster like a hurricane or fire. But this Covid thing has become a slowly evolving crisis and no longer short term. We are being whiplashed around with good news and bad news on a constant basis. And I know that I’ve run out of these short term resources. They need to be recharged for the long haul.

At the same time, I started to read the book “Making a Life”. It is a beautiful book about makers who have built a life around their making. The first chapter included an interview with Ellen Dissanayake who uses her observations of children and peoples who are not “modernized”. She found principles to pass on from her observations. She noticed that every thing we create is made with out hands whether it be the written word or a clay pot. And that making is not simply utilitarian. She found that we humans thrive on “Artifying” what we make. We make the ordinary, extraordinary. We take the mundane and lift it in celebrations.

These 2 ideas really came together in my head. As makers, I think we can use that artifying and using our hands to bring us through this crisis. We can use our making as a contemplative practice. We can use our brains to not only use the here and now…feeling the yarn, touching it’s softness, hearing the clicking of our needles. But we can also use our brains to plan for the future. That’s the fun part, the planning of the new project. And that can be part of our recharge.

You can hear more about this by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the podcast on itunes.

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WIP Wednesday: No Rhinebeck Sweater Update

Okay people. I’m on the second cuff. I’ll be finished with that this afternoon, I think.

The next step will be to finish the bottom of the sweater. As a recap, I was worried about having enough yarn. So I put the sweater body on a cable and I decided to complete the sleeves. I knew I wanted a sweater and not a vest. And happily, yes, I have enough yarn… I may have enough for a hat too…

And now I’m thinking about buttons. I raided my button box…I have a good one. And here are my top choices.

I only have these 2
I have 4 of these
Just these 3
Just these 3 I think.
I have lots of these all different but related
Just these 3 and their little…but if you like the white flower look, I could look for something like that.

I want you to help me, so reply to this blog and on my social media and pick your favorite!! I have 3 weeks to finish. I think I will. I’m pretty excited to be done with this handspun lamb’s fleece sweater from my own Gina.

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New Podcast: A Conversation with Emily Chamelin-Hickman

In this episode, I talk to Emily about shepherding. We talked about how she became a shearer and shepherd. We talk about raising healthy animals and how she is using regenerative practices to improve her land. We also talked about what it takes to be a woman shearer in a man’s world.

Emily is one to the strongest women that I know. She made a place for herself in a really physically demanding profession. She is empathetic to the animals and the shepherds who tend to them. And she has raised a strong, smart daughter.

Click here to listen

Click here to see how to find Emily

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Another Virtual Show This Weekend

Let’s be real….

How are you feeling? Are you continuing to knit or crochet or spin? Are you making way through your collection? Are you excited about the possibility of seeing some great yarn and roving and pottery and buttons this weekend?

This weekend, really starting tomorrow, Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival is going to a virtual show. I am grateful that the festival organizers have taken on this new world of virtual festivals. I am grateful for the teachers who will teach on zoom. I’m grateful to all the shoppers who are supporting us. So I hope that you will be able to come out and see what we have for you this weekend.

This festival is on a new platform called Eventeny. Here is the link to the festival page. That platform is much like ETSY. You as a shopper will be able to fill your cart with items from many different vendors all in one place. I had to make a decision about this platform. I made the decision to not migrate my whole webstore to this platform. I have put my special collections there. Click here to see our page. You can find much of my Autumn collection, Viral collection and my new colorway in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

BUT, I do want to give you a perk for buying from my webstore this weekend. You can use the code SVFF on my website only, for free first class shipping on your purchases. This coupon code is active now and it will expire 9:30am on 9/30. There you will find all our yarn and roving and kits and swag.

I will also be doing Facebook Live sessions at the following times (click here to watch):

Friday 10am and 5pm

Saturday 11am and 4pm

Sunday 9am.

I hope that I will see you virtually this weekend. Keep making beautiful items. It is good for your soul