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curated skeins for your next shawl

At shows and even here on the studio tours that we do, I hear people saying that they have a hard time picking out skeins for larger, multiple skein projects like a shawl or a sweater. That is part of what I love about my job. I have an entire room of color and it is so much fun to pull together skeins. Here are a few of the trios that I pulled together today. You can shop for your own curated skeins by clicking here

Three different bases but the same fingering weight: Golden Mosaic, Golden splash and Agate
Hyacinth Mosaic, Violet, and Forest Violet
Carnival, Fiesta Sparkly and Fiesta Chinook
Barn Door, Crushed grape and Stormy Mosaic

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even I take classes

I do. I love to learn new things. And I’ve really wanted to learn about the brioche stitch from an expert in person. And so I took a 2 color Brioche in the round a while ago. And then I was able to make the time to go to the next step: 2 color Brioche knit flat with increases and decreases.

This is a challenge for me. I don’t really like to read patterns. I like to see how something is done and model my movements after the teacher. But here you have to read the pattern. The increases are not that hard…but the decreases have many “moves” in them. And I didn’t get them right the first time. So I got help with that. And then I got it wrong a second time and I couldn’t fix it myself. So what did I do? I ripped it out and started over. I gave myself the admonition to READ the directions slowly and carefully. And I did that row correctly….mostly.

I have to READ the directions slowly and carefully for the next few rows and I hope to develop the moves to make this an easy pattern.

I love the yarn I chose for this project. This is my synergy yarn. It is spun after the dye process, so it has a tweedy, marled look. It is Merino so it is super, super soft. You can find all the Synergy colors I have here.

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Making a Local Wardrobe

Really? A whole wardrobe? What is that about? I’ve been thinking a lot about how the choices we make really effect our planet and our climate. I’ve written about this before and I have been reading and thinking about just how to make a local wardrobe.

I make wool and mohair yarn. So I can have outerwear pieces from my very local yarn. I can make socks, boot cuffs, hats, mittens, scarves, shawls and sweaters with the yarn from my own animals.

I can felt fiber into fabric to make a coat and accessories like a messenger bag or purse.

But as summer comes along, I will also need to have some lighter fabrics. There aren’t any cotton growers or cotton and linen mills in our area. So for lighter garments I will have to find cotton and linen made in neighboring states. I’m hoping to even find some hemp grown in N. Carolina. So my fibershed, my local will have to widen out a bit.

Why go to all this trouble? Because it is important to turn away from the plastic and microfibers in commercial clothing. Did you know that 60% of our garments are made with polyester. To make this, we consume 350 million barrels of oil every year. That’s amazing. That’s dangerous.

Did you also know that nearly 2 gms of microfibers come off of a jacket run through the wash. And that 40% of that makes it to streams, rivers and the oceans? We’ve seen the massive amount of plastic garbage in the ocean, but these microfibers are largely unseen and still they are a threat. Like seafood? You are ingesting this microfiber that traveled to the ocean.

So my little part may not make a huge difference. But I will be doing my part… Want to do your part too? Think about your own local wardrobe or local pieces. We have wool and mohair yarns made right here in many different weights and we are growing this local yarn line as I write this.

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Fun was had by all

We had a full weekend of workshops. And each student made great yarn or adorable chicks. Dawn and I are not always the best at remembering to take photos. Here are some from my Dye your Socks workshop.

I have another one of these workshops coming up March 7th. Click here to grab a spot. There are only a few left.

Not a yarnie? Dawn has an egg painting class. You will learn how those beautiful Ukrainian eggs are made in the workshop. Click here to secure your spot in this class.

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Next Shawl?

What shawl is in your queue? What shawl will you be knitting next?

One of the steps that is so hard for knitters is to put together skeins that will make a great shawl. Skeins with enough differences to be interesting but have enough similarities that the shawl will be gorgeous. I’m helping with that problem by putting together curated trios of skeins that are fingering weight that are perfect for many, many shawls.

All you need to do is pick a pattern, grab some needles and cast on. You can see all of the options in our web store here. These are all one of a kind. So if you see something that thrills you, it would be good to snatch it up.

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more new colorways

I’ve continued to work with our MCN base (SW merino, cashmere and nylon fingering weight yarn). It is so lovely to work with. It will make lovely socks of course, but also a shawl with great drape or a sweater. You can snag some for yourself here.

Canyonlands
Glacier
Barn Boards
driftwood
Dockside
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yarn spotlight: Cacao

This is a 100% mohair yarn made from the fleece of our mohair goats. The leader of that pack was a lovely goat named Cacao. That’s because she was milk chocolate when she was born. She faded throughout her life. This yarn is a 2 ply that is DK weight. It is a light tan color with lots of sheen.

This is a great yarn to use for outer wear. You really won’t want to put this next to your delicate skin on your neck. But a hat, mittens, sweater and even slippers would be a great use for this yarn. You can grab some for yourself today here.

Corstorphine Sweater using Cacao and Puck
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yarn spotlight: Puck’s Choice

Puck’s Choice yarn is a farm yarn made from the fleeces of our beloved Puck, our first sheep. She was a BFL cross, a typical lustrous longwool sheep. I took her fleeces and blended them with charcoal mohair from Twilight and her babies as well as a black alpaca fleece that I purchased from an alpaca farm in Virginia. The blend is equal parts of these 3 yarns. The result is a wonderful dark charcoal yarn that has varying saturations of color.

This yarn is a 2 ply that is a DK weight yarn. It is soft and durable. Is it next to the skin soft? No it isn’t. But it will make a great sweater. I imagine an Icelandic inspired yoke sweater that is all the rage. You can add beautiful color for the colorwork and have Puck as the body of the sweater. It will make great hats, showing off cables or even lace. And it will make good socks and slippers. It is really versatile.

If you are local, in Maryland, you could use this yarn for the garment competition at MD Sheep and Wool Festival. There is a special award for those using a Maryland yarn. If you are within our fibershed, you can call this local to you and make a garment for your #oneoutfit100days. You can be sure that these animals were treated well and even spoiled. The yarn was made from animals with names. You can get the yarn by clicking here.

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need a super soft yarn?

Then Zephyrette is the yarn for you. It is a blend of baby alpaca, cashmere and silk. It is super soft but holds its shape. It has a wonderful hand and makes a fabric with great drape. I’ve just updated the shop with many, many more colorways that have been available in person but not online. You’re in luck today.