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sock blanks to knit or crochet

trio of warm color sock blanks

This week I added a whole bunch more sock blanks into the web store. Sock blanks are the serendipity of knitting. They are fun to pick out and you really don’t know what the end product will be. Of course it all depends on what you are going to make. Are you making socks with a 60-70 stitch round? Or are you making a cowl that has a 150-190 stitch round? Or of course if you are making a shawl that increases with each row you will get another different look.

sock blanks reminiscent of Jackson Pollack

Are you wanting to know more about sock blanks and how to use them, click here to a blog post that I wrote last year.

trio of cool colored sock blanks

And if you are ready to dive in and try making something that will be surprise, click here for all the options. They are all one of a kind, so be sure to grab your favorite before someone else gets it.

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modern graphic colorwork cowl

Suburban Warrior Cowl designed by Tanis Gray

Last fall, Tanis stopped by my booth and picked up some of my Cormo farm yarn in 2 colors: Agate and Granite. She designed this modern graphic cowl. It is stunning visually and next to the skin soft. You can use Trasna or LiViLy yarn for this cowl. Here are some other colors you might use to make this cowl. Grab a set in the online store.

Agate and Cherry Blossom
Agate and Clear Skies
Agate and Slate
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lacy sweater for a quick fall knit

pattern by Corrine Walcher
LiViLy Catoctin Sweater

This is a lovely lacy sweater made with our LiViLy yarn. This worsted weight yarn is made from the fleeces of my Cormo sheep. Corrine Walcher , AKA Gingyknits, is the designer. If you haven’t used her patterns before, they are concise and come in a wide range of sizes. And our LiViLy comes in great colors.

cormoworsted yarn

Here is photo of the front of the sweater. I have worn this several times. It is well fitting and the yarn is really next to the skin soft. You can get LiViLy yarn here. You can get Gingy’s pattern here.

forest green sweater
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gradient set to make a pretty shawl

gradient set shawl

This shawl is a really fun one to make. It  is a shallow crescent shape. It can be worn in so many ways from over your shoulders or backwards like a cowl.  It is made with my Corrie Sock yarn. The kit includes a 5 mini skein gradient set, beads for the edge and the pattern.  The mini’s do all the work for you, most of this shawl is garter stitch and at the end there is some lace stitches for interest.  This is a good project to take to the soccer field or swim meets. All you need to do is add needles and you’re ready to cast on. There are 5 colors to choose from, so go grab one in my online store.

5 mini skein gradient
Cherry set
5 mini skein gradient
Purple set
5 skein gradient set
Brilliant Blue set
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Autumnal Yarn Collection

hand dyed yarn in autumn fall colors

I’m working on my Autumn yarn collection that will make their debut at the three fiber festivals in September and October. I have a booth at Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, Fall Fiber Festival at James Madison’s Montpelier and Rhinebeck Fiber Festival. I’m still deciding which yarn will be the featured yarn at which festival. As you can see these are fingering weight yarns. They make excellent socks but I also love this yarn for making shawls. Click here if you would like to join my mailing list so that I can let you know about new colorways, patterns and which of these yarns will be available a specific show.

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a view from the spinning wheel

It’s the Tour de Fleece! This is a spinning event where hand spinners spin everyday of the Tour de France. It is a fun event and I love the sense of community around it.

view from the wheel
view from my wheel

For the first 3 days, I spun 4 ounces of hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester top and plied some of it into 132 yards of worsted weight yarn.

BFL skein
my skein of BFL yarn

Want to join my team? Go to Ravelry and join in this forum. And if you love this roving, you can grab some in my online store.

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couch knitting on hot summer days

knitting in the wild

I love to do my knitting on the couch watching/listening to a guilty pleasure on the TV. Here’s a fun and easy 2 color brioche cowl knit in the round. Full disclosure…..I did have to redo this first attempt at least 4 times to fix mistakes as I learned this new technique. Yarn pictured is Rum Raisin LiViLy Cormo Worsted and Synergy mint green Worsted. You can grab some of this in my online store.

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Yarn Weights and Measures: What Do They All Mean?

grist1
I’ve been thinking a lot about what all those ways that yarn manufacturers, including myself, categorize the yarn.  There are so many ways of speaking about the size of the yarn. The standard yarn weight information is set up in a table with discreet squares. But I’ve been studying this lately and I’ve noticed that there is overlap,  a lot of overlap among the yarn weights. So it seems to me that this is really a continuum. Just look at the info about YPP, yards per pound, the overlap here is really large. Why is that? It has to do with the spinning process.

yarn weights

Was it spun in a woolen way with lots of air and softly spongy and so it has a bigger diameter? Or was it spun in a worsted way which compacts the fibers and aligns them all in one direction and so it appears thinnner. These two yarns could have the same YPP but a different grist or appearance and they will behave very differently. So use these as a guide, but the ultimate test is your own swatch. These two yarns were both supposed to be a DK weight. But the diameter is SOOOOO different. They knit up differently too. The green one knits like a lace weight yarn. It is our Heritage BFL yarn. And the turquoise yarn is Fingal’s and truly knits like a DK yarn. It is also made with BFL wool and both were made at the same mill.  Go figure!!

grist2

This really comes into play when you are wanting to make that special sweater. You are wanting to use yarn from your stash, not go out and buy the yarn that the designer used. Or maybe that yarn isn’t available anywhere near you. This is when those standard yarn weights become important. And even more important than that, is to knit up a swatch. Not only a stockinette swatch but also a swatch in pattern.

 

But is a swatch important when it is for a garment that doesn’t fit your body, like a shawl or a cowl? Well, I think getting the gauge close is important so that the stitches look the same. You may not need to get it “exactly” right if it isn’t going to “fit” your body. What is important to do is to check the size of the finished project, because many times the photographs used in the pattern, may be on a mannequin and not a person. It may be made for an extremely small or large person, someone whose body is vastly different than yours.  Sometimes making a swatch seems like wasting your time and a waste of yarn. You will probably only need 25-50 yards for a swatch. It will reduce the chance that you would need to frog your project.  I think it is important to make sure that the stitches look right. You may be a looser knitter than the designer or vice versa. So changing your needle size will be just what you need to get your swatch to look like the picture. Those are important questions to answer and it is worth the time to figure this out before you jump into your garment.