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Some More Color Choices for KAL

Rhinebeck Hat

Here’s the second choice for our Winter Halfpipe Hat KAL. Remember this is in honor of the Winter Olympics. We will be casting on February 4th and finishing by February 20th. I styled this after the Ravellenics event. You can join us by commenting here, buying a kit and/or commenting in our Rav group here. The kit includes the yarn, a pompom and the digital pattern. Find the kit here.

I love this r=Rhinebeck hat designed by Wooly Wormhead. It is so cute and striking. It is a slouchy hat that is knit with short rows. It takes 2 different yarns. This kit includes a full skein of the variegated yarn and a half skein of the semi-solid. Each set of yarn is one of a kind. Here are some choices

I hope you decide to join us on this KAL!!

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Some KAL Color Choices

Our Winter Hat KAL starts on February 4th. It coincides with the Winter Olympics. One of the most popular patterns this time is the Correlation Hat.

Correlataion Hat

This hat is made with one skein of our Synergy yarn. You can find it here. This is a merino farm yarn that is marled and when knit gives a gradient look as well. It looks handspun without all the work.

Here are some color choices:

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Hat KAL for the Winter Olympics

Let’s do a Hat KAL during the Olympic Games!! The rules for the Ravellenic Games are to start and finish a project during the Olympics. So starting Feb. 4th and finishing Feb 20th. I will have 3 hat kits for sale.

  1. Cabla Hat using our worsted weight LiViLy
  2. Correlation Hat using our Synergy yarn (sport or worsted)
  3. Rhinebeck Hat (wooly wormheads design) made with our worsted weight LiVily or Synergy.

I’ll post a link to the sales page when they are up for sale.
In the meantime, reply here to tell me if you are IN!!

You can also come by Saturday (1/15) to pick out a kit for yourself.

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Shop Update: New Farm Yarn

I’ve just added a beautiful wool farm yarn. It’s called Fingal. Well it’s not really new, but I just realized that I still have a lot of this lovely yarn. This yarn is made from BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) wool from our farm and Grindstone Ridge Farm. I had this in the back of other yarn and I forgot about it.

Let me tell you about this yarn. It’s oh-so soft! It has a lot of luster from the BFL. This is a 2 ply worsted weight yarn. Each skein has 200 yards. And there are so many wonderful color choices right now. More colors to come as well.

This yarn will make lovely hats, mittens, cowls, and sweaters.

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Sometimes All You Need is Bling!

I love a little bling now and again. This yarn is our Sparkly base. It is Superwash Merino with a touch of Lurex. Lurex it the silver metallic thread that is plied within this yarn. Sparkly is fingering weight. Each skein is 400 yards. It is so versatile. You can add it to a shawl. You can make a top or sweater out of it. You can of course make some super special socks as well.

What I love about Sparkly is that the metallic thread is plied so well. It does not worm it’s way out of the yarn. It stays within the yarn. And did I mention the bling?

You can pick some up here in our shop!!

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New Fall Yarns for your Collection

We have 2 new yarns this year and I’m dyeing up A LOT of it.

The first yarn is called LiViLy Bounce. It is a sport weight. Each skein has 330 yards in each 4oz skein. And it feels so great. It is made from our Cormo fleeces. I haven’t yet put any on the needles and I need to get to that. I know it will be amazing. You can find our available colors here.

The second yarn is Trasna Fingering. It is a fingering weight with 400 yards in each 4oz skein. It is made from our Cormo X fleeces and again so nice to the touch. I have knit a swatch of this one and it has amazing stitch definition. You can find some of the colors here. More colors to come within this week.

I know you will love these yarns that are sustainable, climate beneficial and beautiful to boot!! Remember that when you buy farm yarn you support our sheep and goats through the winter!

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I Love Wool!

Wool has a bit of a bad rap. So many people tell me they can’t wear wool because they are allergic or it is itchy. Yes there are some itchy wools that shouldn’t be worn next to your skin. But there are many wool yarns that are soft to the touch and make fabric with lovely drape and softness. The trick is to understand the difference and choose the best wool for your project. In my opinion, it is totally worth the time and trouble to find a wool yarn that works for you and for the think you want to make. Even my itchiest mohair wool blend sweater loses it’s itch factor when I wear a cotton turtleneck underneath and I get the benefit of beauty, comfort, warmth and durability.

Our first two sheep: BFL named Puck and Cormo named Viola plus 2 angora goats

Wool is a totally renewable, sustainable fiber. It grows back year after year. Our sheep are mostly grass fed as well. So I’m not feeding them grain or other processed feed. This is a big part of regenerative agriculture. The sheep and goats eat down our grass and as they do they also fertilize the ground.

Processing wool does not have to have a large carbon or chemical footprint.  Cleaning takes hot water and some soap.  The rest of the processing (carding and spinning) can be done totally by hand, but even if it is processed at a mill, there is just electricity used in most cases. One of the mills that I use is even going solar. So even less electricity from traditional coal fired plants is being used.  

Naturally dyed wool and mohair yarns

Superwash wool has the least “itchiness”. It has been highly processed to remove the scales on the individual fibers. Tha means that it also has the highest environmental impact. I do like to use superwash wools for socks, knowing that it is a little less ecologically friendly. And knowing that the care and use of those socks will be easier.

Wool is biodegradable. In fact, it can be used as an excellent nitrogen source for mulching. Some shepherds use the skirtings (dirtier wool from the bellies and legs) as mulch for their gardens or orchards. You can also put it into your compost pile to add valuable nitrogen to your soil in your gardens.

Wool is flame resistant so it naturally defends against fire.  When exposed to a flame, the fibers extinguish themselves. This can’t be said for manufactured fibers that contain plastics.

Wool is a great insulator. Some new “green” homes are using wool as insulation.  As insulation, wool wicks moisture away from the home and reduces the presence of mold and bacteria. It also acts as a filter for odors in a home. This insulator property is also why wool socks, undergarments and sweaters are worn by hikers and other alpine enthusiasts. Even when you sweat the wool moves it away from your body and keeps you cooler. As outerwear, wool keeps you warm in the winter by insulating and cool in the summer by being breathable. It wicks away moisture from your body, so the moisture is evaporated. It also repels water since the outer layer of the fiber is hydrophobic.

For garments, wool is very easy to care for. Of course you shouldn’t put it in the washer and dryer, but handwashing and air drying is all you need to do. Most stains are easy to remove either with soap and water.  It is highly durable so it is a smart investment for your wardrobe.

Panchia says “Try wool! Ewe’ll like it!!”

Do you love wool? Why or why not? Post a comment to share your thoughts on wool.

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WIP Wednesday: Laundry Edition

I’ve been making wool dryer balls in my spare time. Why? Well, I have some roving that is not great for spinning or felting. I need all my wool to do something on the farm. This is what allows us to be sustainable. All or nearly all wool and mohair is used to make something here.

Why use dryer balls? Well according to the Environmental Working Group, dryer sheets and fabric softeners damage your clothing and they also damage your health. The chemicals in these products contain chemicals known to cause cancer, irritate your skin, and cause reproductive issues. Also when dryer sheets are heated, these chemicals become airborne and can affect your lungs and exasperate asthma. These chemicals are know collectively as Quaternary Ammonium Compounds or QACS. These chemicals make your towels less absorbent. I’ve surely experienced that. They will also wear down the ability of your clothing to wick away moisture in socks or athletic wear. QACS stay on your fabrics for quite a while and they slowly seep out over time between washings. And as they seep they are affecting you, your family and all the fabrics in your house. Also what happens to the “used” sheet? It goes to the landfill. There are still those chemicals in the sheet. And the contents of our landfills can contaminate ground water and other water sources. Just think about all the loads of laundry in all the houses in your neighborhood or city or state, that’s a lot of these QACS in the environment.

Dryer balls are completely natural. Mine are made of 100% wool. Wool is great at wicking away moisture. It is antimicrobial as well. They work by bouncing around in your dryer. They lift and aerate your laundry. They help the heat to disperse within your load and thereby reduce your drying time. Because they reduce the heat in your dryer, they also reduce the static cling. Static builds up with more and longer heat in the dryer. They contain no chemicals, just wool, pure wool.

Each package of dryer balls contains 4 softball sized wool balls. Just toss them in your dryer and turn it on. In between laundry days or sessions, leave them in the dryer. I’ve had mine in the dryer for over 5 years. They last forever. Sometimes they get a little worse for wear and you can certainly replace them but these are economical as well. A box of dryer sheets costs somewhere between 5 and 11 cents a load. When you switch to dryer balls you will have that money to spend on something else, fancy coffee? yarn? some kind of treat? And you have the knowledge that you are making the world a better place. That’s work it for sure.

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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.