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WIP Wednesday–No Rhinebeck Sweater

Iounn Sweater from Knitting

Well the knitting is done. Now on to the blocking and then the steeking. I will block this afternoon and it will take some time to dry. It’s a pretty dense fabric. I got some grosgrain ribbon and you all voted on the leather buttons. Well not all of you…but the consensus was the leather buttons. I have 4 of them. I intend to just put them on the top half of the sweater. I’m leaning towards the brick red ribbon. I have 10 days until Saturday…. I think I can…I think I CAN!!

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New Podcast: Fast Fashion

In today’s podcast, I talk about “Fast Fashion”. This is the push by marketers and manufacturers to make cheaper and cheaper clothes that we buy, wear once or twice and cast away while chasing the next fashion trend. It used to be that there were 2 “seasons” in the clothing industry. Now there are 52 “mini-seasons”. The pursuit of these fashion trends is making our planet sick. The chemicals to make and dye the fabric is toxic to us and to the environment. The pursuit of this fashion is making our bodies sick as well. There are hormonal changes that are happening, not only to the people who work in the industry but also to those who were the products on their skin.

I offer some ideas for how to wean ourselves off this hamster wheel.

This is just the first in a series talking about fast fashion vs. slow fashion. I’ll be talking about the Fibershed movement too.

Click here to listen!

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open studio this Saturday 10-3pm

Yes this weekend will be pretty busy around here. We are vendors at Vogue Knitting Live. See here for details. AND we are having an open studio on Saturday…. 10am to 3pm.

Here are the details: Wear your mask! We will have hand sanitizer for you to use when you enter and also when you leave. We will allow 2 people in the studio at a time. If there is a wait, we will have chairs appropriately spaced. So you might want to bring your knitting with you.

There are 2 other farms open on Saturday: Avalon Springs Farm and Dancing Leaf Dyeworks. So make a day of it!!

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the no-rhinebeck sweater

So that’s it. All the fiber festivals that I was going to be at are now closed. They aren’t totally closed. Many will have a virtual marketplace instead and I’m participating in at least 3 of them. At this time of year, most Rhinebeck goers would be planning their Rhinebeck sweater. Now there’s no Rhinebeck. But we still need a new sweater, right? So let’s coin the new hashtag….#norhinebecksweater.

My #norhinebecksweater will be a yoked cardigan that is knit in the round and steeked. Yes, I will be cutting my sweater up the middle. And I’ve been planning this for a long while. I’m using my handspun lamb’s wool.

I have great farm yarns and one commercial yarn that are fantastic in sweaters. LiViLy is our cormo heavy DK/light worsted 3 ply yarn. It is super soft, next to the skin soft. I have some neutrals and some brilliant jewel tones of this yarn.

Trasna is our BFLXCormo wool that is a heavy sport/light DK 3 ply yarn. It is also next to the skin soft. It has a lustrous quality from the BFL part of the wool.

Synergy is a wilder farm yarn. It is a merino, marled, 2 ply yarn. There are 2 weights: their is a worsted weight and a sport weight. I have 11 different colorways of that yarn. In a garment, it will do some gradual stripping and it is super soft as well.

Finally, the commercial yarn is Alto. It is a 50/50 blend of superwash BFL and silk. It is a DK weight yarn. It is highly lustrous. And it has a fantastic drape to it. You will love your sweater knit with this yarn.

What will your #norhinebecksweater be?

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Learning how to substitute yarns

There is a lot of conversation on Instagram and FaceBook about designers and indie dyers. Some people feel discriminated against because they can’t use expensive yarn. I think I am hearing that some knitters feel unseen by the knitting industry.

There is a lot that goes into a collaboration between a designer and an indie dyer and even more when you think about farm yarns. There is the cost of the yarn and the marketing of the pattern along with the yarn. And sometimes, the yarn recommended in the pattern becomes unavailable. There are so many choices of yarns and many of those choices are regional.

New fingering weight Cormo farm yarn

Because of this it is important to learn how to substitute yarn in a pattern. That way you have all the freedom to use yarn in your stash, yarn from a big box store or yarn from a fiber farmer like me. I just published a podcast all about yarn substitution. You can find it on itunes or you can click here to listen.

Here are the highlights:

  1. You can measure the size of the yarn in your stash with this tool.
  2. You can search for patterns that would use this size of yarn on Ravelry.
  3. There are times when gauge counts and times when it doesn’t. Know which is which.
  4. If you are making a garment that needs to fit, you have to swatch….Sorry! You just have to.
  5. I give you a couple of easy swatching hacks so you don’t feel like you’re wasting time, money and yarn.
  6. I also show you 2 patterns where I totally changed the needles and the yarns and you can see how they turned out.

And if you like the podcast, I would appreciate you leaving a review on itunes. I’ll be addressing more on this topic in the future. Have a question? Let me know what it is. I’d love to have some Q & A sessions as well.

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farm to needle yarn

I’ve been thinking a lot about farm yarn. One of my big 4 goals this year was to widen out my line of FGF yarns. I want to have an offering at every standard weight of yarn. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Watch this video that I recorded this week for my #farmchickslive #ThursdayThreads.

Here are some of the farm yarns that are already in our line.

Trasna Dkish yarn Find it here.
LiViLy Worsted wt yarn. Find it here.
Synergy Merino Dkish wt yarn. Find it here.
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Store reopened after a lovely family weekend

This last weekend was full of family. A family wedding, lovely visits with two 93 year old aunties and their caretaker daughters, a scavenger hunt of Allentown and a concert that got cancelled. But instead we had a great time talking with Bill’s brother and sister in law and sharing our live’s stories and good, good wine.

So coming back I opened the store up with 2 major shop updates. First I added hand dyed natural colored yarns…what??? So I have a great yarn base that is made with 2 different shades of grey and 2 different weights, so it’s a thick and thin kind of yarn.

I overdyed this yarn with a brick red, a bright violet and a navy blue. The results are rich colors. These yarns are farm yarns. They are made with wool from farms of other shepherds. The yarn is highly durable and wearable. Is it soft? It is not too scratchy but it is not cashmere. It would make lovely hats, mitts, socks and even one of those great colorwork sweaters.

You can find this yarn here. What other colors would you like to see? Reply to this blog to let me know!!