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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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on a roll with Chinook yarn

Yep! I keep getting more and more ideas for colorways on this wonderful, luxurious yarn. It’s a blend of superwash merino, nylon and cashmere. You can make the softest sock which still have the strength of nylon and the bounciness of wool. OR you can make a wonderful shawl or scarf that you can wear to keep warm that is next to the skin soft!!

These remind me of water and the coast!
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Shop Update: Chinook Yarns

Chinook is our version of Merino-Cashmere-Nylon fingering weight yarn. It is super luxurious. It feel so soft, yet has the strength of nylon and the bounce of merino. Yes it is also superwash so it is easy to care for. You can certainly make long lasting socks with this yarn. And you can make wonderful shawls with a soft feel and nice drape. I would even make a great next to the skin sweater.

New colorways of Chinook yarnhttps://flyinggoatfarm.com/product/chinook-sock-yarn/
Swamp monster on Chinook yarn
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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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super soft delicate shawl

I have to admit, I didn’t knit this myself. Yes, I have some wonderful trusted knitters who knit garments for me that are way above my skill level. And also they are so much faster! Since I am the slowest knitter in the world. This shawl, called The Joker and The Thief is designed by Melanie Berg. She designed it for a gradient and I decided to use full skeins of Zephyrette so ours is a ABCBA pattern. What I mean is that we progressed through the colors and then went backwards through them again. Our shawl is made with Zephyrette. Have you used it before? It is a delicious blend of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere. It is super soft but has the structure of the silk so that it doesn’t stretch out.

You can pick your own colors or we can put a kit together for you. Grab the yarn in our online store and the pattern from Ravelry.

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4 skeins + a pattern = a kit

yarn pattern kit for shawl
4 skeins of Zephyrette luxury yarn blend of alpaca, cashmere and silk

I love this combo of Zephyrette skeins. Our Zephyrette is a blend of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere and is heavenly to knit with. This Strisce pattern is really car or TV knitting. It is mostly a garter stitch shawl with some lace at the bottom edge. It is an asymmetrical triangle shawl and can be worn is a variety of ways. This kit comes with the pattern and 4 skeins of yarn, all you need to do is add needles. You can get the kit here.

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Correcting Mistakes

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again,

this time more intelligently.

Henry Ford

It was brought to my attention that one of our patterns had a couple of flaws in it. Thanks Anja! That pattern has been out in the world for a couple of years. I wonder why I’m only hearing about it now. I hope people have it in the knitting queue, rather than in their trash heap.  I’m so glad that I was able to find out about the error and fix it.

I left out a stitch in 2 rows. An incorrect number of stitches is a fatal error. The cowl would get smaller and smaller. Not a great design for a cowl, right? Now it has been fixed.   And it is ready to be released out into the world.  

Click here for revised pattern for Rivulet Cowl. Yes, even if you don’t already own that pattern, you can click too and get a fun cowl pattern to knit. Think of it as a great Valentine’s gift!

  Click here to buy Zephyrette, our exclusive luscious blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere, for this pattern. 

 

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Stash Appreciation–Wool Blends Part 1- Animal

After reading all the previous wool posts, I hope I’ve convinced you that wool is a great all purpose fiber that can be used for all kinds of finished products from hearty rugs to lacy, delicate shawls. Wool blends are designed to combine all the fantastic characteristics of wool with those of other fibers. Designers combine fibers together to make a yarn that solves a problem or serves a niche.

Wool-Mohair Blends: Mohair adds luster to the more matte finish wool.  Wool provides the mohair with memory so that your garment will bounce back to it’s original shape. My Fernham yarn is 75% wool and 25% kid mohair. The mohair adds just a touch of light and softness. Mohair dyes vibrantly and gives the blend rich tones.

provenceskein
FGF Fernham yarn made in collaboraton with Grindstone Ridge Farm. There are only a limited number of skeins left in this custom mill spun yarn. So if you love it, click on the picture to go to our store and buy as much as you need.

 

Mohair can also add strength. I designed our Perendale (wool) and adult Mohair sock yarn blend.  The mohair takes the place of nylon in other sock yarns. The Perendale wool gives the sock structure and spring and memory.

psock
FGF sock yarn made with 95% wool from perendale sheep and 5% adult mohair for strength and durability

 

Wool-Cashmere Blends: Cashmere gives that incredible softness to the wool blend. It also provides a lot of warmth without adding a lot of weight to the yarn.  Cashmere is almost always a shorter staple length than the wool. So it will add a halo to the yarn. It may also migrate out the the yarn and provide a pill factor.

Wool-Silk Blends: Silk lends incredible luster and strength to the wool fibers. Silk is stronger than steel. And there is an undeniable luxury factor when silk is added to wool. Silk also dyes vibrantly with rich tones.

Wool-Alpaca Blends: There are many alpaca wool yarn blends on the market. Many of them are also “baby alpaca” or cria. Just like any baby animal, cria fleeces are very fine and soft, so yarns made with it are also incredibly soft. Alpaca is also very warm and can be heavy. Wool in the blend provides the structure and memory to the yarn, so the yarns will bounce back into shape and not keep “growing”.  Alpaca dyes in softer saturation than either silk or mohair.

Wool-Angora Blends: I am just not all that familiar with Angora rabbits and I don’t want to mislead you.  I do know that it is incredibly soft and warm. Every angora yarn I’ve seen has almost a brushed appearance. So I wonder if angora is a bit like cashmere, in that, it will migrate out of the yarn and shed.  In these blends, wool is definitely adding the structure and stability to the yarn.  If you, dear reader, have more info about this add it to a comment and share your knowledge.