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Small, Quick Projects for the Dog Days of Summer

It’s hot. I think it’s hot just about everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. My friends in LA and Oregon have been talking about trees becoming sunburned and the forests dying. And we here on the East Coast are stuck in the heat and humidity of summer.

Knitting becomes more of a chore in summer. Even so, I feel like I need to have the rhythmic motion of slip, wrap, slide of each stitch to let my mind get into a flow and to let my mind wander. I don’t want a big project that is sitting in my lap. I want something small and light.

I have some perfect little cowls that fit the bill. They are quick. They are smallish. The yarn is Oh-So Soft and gives your fingers joy just touching it.

What are they? They are my Zephyrette Cowls. Zephyrette is our signature yarn. It is made from soft baby alpaca fleece with long, strong silk and the king of all softness: Cashmere. Alpaca is cool to the touch. So it is a good choice for summer knitting.

There are 3 choices of pattern: Lacy Cowl, Interlaken and Rivulet.

Here’s how you get a kit for a project. First, go here and pick a color of zephyrette. There are so many choices. You just need one skein. Then go here and pick a pattern. Click on the shopping cart and check out. Your new project will be out in the mail to you and you will get it within days.

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Thoughts on Summer Knitting

This summer has been really weird, right? No matter where you live in the US and probably even in the world. There have been crazy heat waves, crazy storms and early hurricanes and even historic droughts in the West.

Hay waiting to be cut

Here in the East we have had the hot and muggy days for a couple of weeks now. It is hard to think about knitting, but even so my fingers are itching to pick up the needles and my mind really needs the “down time” that knitting provides. The quiet space where I am making and I can stop thinking. Does that happen to you?

So I was thinking about what I would like to knit or spin in this heat. And what jumped into my head is alpaca. Alpaca is cool to the touch. I don’t quite know what causes the phenomena. But it is true. Our Zephyrette yarn is baby alpaca, cashmere and silk. It is perfect for summer knitting. I have designed 4 cowls with this yummy yarn. The patterns come in a variety of skill levels and all take just one skein of yarn! These cowls make great, quick gifts too!!

I was also thinking that small projects that wouldn’t cover my lap would be a nice thing to make during the summer. So I’m thinking a cowl or mittens or a hat even socks could fit the bill.

Weaverly cowl up close

Let’s make some great alpaca based projects while the summer is hot!

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FO Friday–Alpaca Top Edition

This week I’ve been working on dyeing spinning fiber. First up has been superfine alpaca top. I wanted to show you part of the process. Especially with alpaca fiber, the dry dyed product is a lot lighter than the wet product. You can see the difference!

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fun and easy knit for the new year

shawl for alpaca wool blend yarn
Camau Shawl

This is a really fun and easy knit shawl. It is a flat triangle shawl that can be worn in a variety of ways. It is primarily a garter stitch shawl with intermittent short rows of eyelet (k2tog, yo). The yarn is a 3 ply farm yarn that is a sport weight. There are 2 plies of wool and one of alpaca. So you have a slightly heathery look to the yarn. The yarn will keep its shape because of the wool but add some lovely softness from the alpaca.

Each kit is one of a kind and they are on sale to!!! So be sure to grab one here while they are still in stock.

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thought provoking book

I’ve known about the California Fibershed movement for quite some time. I long to have a movement like that here in the Mid Atlantic. Have you heard of it before? It started as a local indigo project and grew to a movement to source one’s clothes responsibly and preferably with 100 miles of your home. This can be really hard to do.

The first part of this book details how Fibershed got started and also the really alarming cost of our clothes to our health and the health of the environment. The fashion industry has brought us fast fashion. Clothes that are popular right now for a very short period of time. The 2 biggest manufacturers of fast fashion produce one billion items per year. Most of which are worn a few times and thrown away. Most of these clothes end up in our landfills, becoming more than 5% of all of the municipal waste each year. Over 80 billion garments were sold in 2017 which equals a $1.3 trillion industry employing 300 million people from nearly every country. The majority of those jobs pay a very low wage.

I didn’t realize just how damaging washing your clothes could be. Of course the detergents an be unhealthy for many people. And these synthetic clothes shed microfibers in each and every washing. These microfibers make their way into our water, where up to 40% end up in rivers, lakes and oceans. We know what these plastics are doing in our environment.

5 mini skein gradient

What can you do? Well, you buy clothes that will last for a long time, those made from natural fibers and not made from petroleum by-products. You can recycle your clothes by mending them or repurposing them into quilts or other textile items in your home. You can wash your clothes when they are soiled but probably not every time your wear them. And as knitters, crocheters, sewers and makers, you can be part of the fibershed movement. Consider making a wardrobe for yourself or others. Of course wool, alpaca, mohair and cashmere grown locally is sustainable and renewable. We fiber farmers are happy to help you build a wonderful, colorful wardrobe.

knitting in the wild

I encourage you to read this book and consider the impact of choices we all make in clothing ourselves and our families.

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new pattern and kit for Zephyrette

This cowl is knit in the round using the Linen Stitch. Using this stitch has been on my wish list for years. Why? Because I started out as a weaver and this stitch not only appears to be woven but it is also knit as an “over/under” pattern.  By knitting in the round, you never have to purl. It is merely a knit stitch and a slipped stitch, over and over again. Because an odd number of stitches is cast on, you can continue to go round and round. I really got into a rhythm and it became a meditative kind of process. Kit includes yarn and pattern, just add needles and get ready to have fun relaxing.

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color combos for making the Camau Shawl

kits to knit a shawl
shawl for alpaca wool blend yarn

I have some beautiful color combos to make this fun shawl. It is a crescent shaped shawl with short rows of eyelet in a contrasting color. The main color is all garter stitch and it easy vacation knitting. It makes a nice light shawl for summer nights. The kits include 4 skeins of Cirrus yarn and the pattern. Just add needles and you are ready to get knitting. Grab one or two kits in my online store. It’s currently on sale for $45 per kit.