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FO Friday–Shawl Edition

So here is a snapshot of the shawls that I have knit in the last few years. I know it’s not a lot. But you also know that I’m the slowest knitter in the world and maybe in the universe.

Shawls that I’ve actually knit in the last couple of years.

All of these are available on Ravelry. Front left to right: Striche, Shard, Camau, Raddiant, Conflagration and Maryland, my Maryland. Some of these are available as kits in our webstore: Strisce, Camau, Raddiant and Conflagration. You can find them here.

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Social Distancing: Week 2

How are you all doing? I’m not gonna lie…I’ve had my ups and downs. I have been calling more people in order to have some more human contact.

I’m proud that I have the online store really well stocked. I’ve been taking photos. I’ve been making some videos too. You now have multiple ways to see what I have in the shop for you. Yes, I can’t help you in the feel department. I think I’ve described the products well. But please, if you have a question about the yarn or the roving or the sock blanks or the kits. Just shoot me an email.

I have a whole shipping station set up. Oh and guess what? I am out of packing tape…WHAAA? Yes but it is on order and should be here by the end of the week. And I have a work around in place. So your purchases will be packaged, labelled and set to you.

I just saw on the news that doctors are suggesting that you leave your packages outside, or untouched for a day. You can put it in a closet or in your garage for the 24 hours. Just to be safe. Not from us, but from whoever else has touched the package since we sent it to you.

So be safe, be happy, be making, be yarn buying and be hopeful.

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FO Friday Cowl Edition

Pile o’ Cowls

Here is a pile of my finished cowls. I have knit all of these over the past couple of years. I love cowls. Have I told you that before? I love them because you put them off and they never fall off. They never unwind. They don’t drag on the floor. They are just perfect accessories in my opinion. All but one of these is my own design as well. The zephyrette cowl patterns are available here.

Do you like to wear cowls? Reply to this blog and let me know.

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Thoughts about cost of local farm yarn

Recently I bought a back issue of TapRoot Magazine. I was intrigued because the issue’s theme is: Wear. And since I’ve been spending the first part of the year thinking and studying and planning in a fibershed, local fiber kind of way, it was a perfect fit. The article that drew in my attention is by Tamera and Char White of A Wing and A Prayer farm.

Taproot published November 2019

They write about all the costs in raising and feeding the sheep that is making that yarn all the way through shearing, processing, dyeing and selling farm yarn. They really drill down in to the costs of hoof trimming (in time and money), the vet costs and the shelter for the animals. They chose one ram’s fleece which yielded about 12 pounds of wool. It became 33 four ounce skeins. The total cost for those skeins is a little over 1500 dollars. The wholesale price would be $46 and the retail $67. That is a LOT for a skein, right?

They also write about the emotional costs of raising sheep for local yarn. And also the rewards of raising your sheep to make yarn. We are a community and we love our sheep. We hope that you love our sheep and yarn as well.

Trasna skeins

With your purchase of our local farm yarn, you are supporting those sheep and goats whose fiber you are using to make a garment or a household item. Think about buying from a producer of good wool yarn. It comes in all colors and all textures. It is not all scratchy. It can be smooth and soft. It can be squishy like our Livily and Trasna yarns. It can be durable for socks and slippers like our Stratus and our mohair. We are working with our mill to make more weights of farm yarn so that we will have a farm yarn for every garment or other handmade item that you want to make. Click on any of the photos to be taken to our website to find farm yarn for your collection.

Stratus undyed and overdyed skeins
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book review Faerie Knits

My absolute favorite author is Alice Hoffman. I love all of her books and all of her short stories. There is always an element of the paranormal whether that be a witch or a heron husband. She writes stories of family and love and apple orchards and death beetles. Perhaps her most well known book is Practical Magic which was made into a wonderful movie.

Blue Heron Shawl is on the cover

So when I saw that she co-wrote a knitting book with her cousin, well, I just had to have it. I was fortunate to get a signed copy, but not so lucky to actually meet Ms. Hoffman. I did however have a really nice conversation with Lisa her cousin.

This book includes 14 fairy tales which were originally published in Faerie Magazine. Each story features a heroine who knits and a knitted object. I think that my favorite of all the stories is the one featuring the Blue Heron. This heron story has made appearances in Hoffman’s books, most recently in “The World That We Knew”.

I also love that each well written pattern includes Knitting Wisdom to explain some technique or to help with making color decisions.

The mix of patterns is very diverse. There are items you could make in an hour or two and there are larger more intricate patterns. I think the mix also is good for beginners, intermediates and maybe even some advanced knitters. I highly recommend this book for it is a good read and inspires great knitting.

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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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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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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