Okay people. I’m on the second cuff. I’ll be finished with that this afternoon, I think.
The next step will be to finish the bottom of the sweater. As a recap, I was worried about having enough yarn. So I put the sweater body on a cable and I decided to complete the sleeves. I knew I wanted a sweater and not a vest. And happily, yes, I have enough yarn… I may have enough for a hat too…
And now I’m thinking about buttons. I raided my button box…I have a good one. And here are my top choices.
I want you to help me, so reply to this blog and on my social media and pick your favorite!! I have 3 weeks to finish. I think I will. I’m pretty excited to be done with this handspun lamb’s fleece sweater from my own Gina.
How are you feeling? Are you continuing to knit or crochet or spin? Are you making way through your collection? Are you excited about the possibility of seeing some great yarn and roving and pottery and buttons this weekend?
This weekend, really starting tomorrow, Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival is going to a virtual show. I am grateful that the festival organizers have taken on this new world of virtual festivals. I am grateful for the teachers who will teach on zoom. I’m grateful to all the shoppers who are supporting us. So I hope that you will be able to come out and see what we have for you this weekend.
This festival is on a new platform called Eventeny. Here is the link to the festival page. That platform is much like ETSY. You as a shopper will be able to fill your cart with items from many different vendors all in one place. I had to make a decision about this platform. I made the decision to not migrate my whole webstore to this platform. I have put my special collections there. Click here to see our page. You can find much of my Autumn collection, Viral collection and my new colorway in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
BUT, I do want to give you a perk for buying from my webstore this weekend. You can use the code SVFF on my website only, for free first class shipping on your purchases. This coupon code is active now and it will expire 9:30am on 9/30. There you will find all our yarn and roving and kits and swag.
I’m live every Thursday at 1pm on Facebook. I hope you’ll join me. Today I showed the update of my No Rhinebeck Sweater. I’m nearly finished with the first sleeve. I also had an epiphany about needles. And I wanted to share. I share my favorite needles, some needles I hate and a circular needle keeper.
So many of you are following my progress on my #norhinebecksweater. I was talking about on my facebook Thursday Thrums yesterday (do you know I am live on Facebook every Thursday at 1pm?)
In case you missed it, I am making my no rhinebeck sweater from handspun lamb fleece from my Cormo/Blue Faced Leicester sheep. It’s been in the works for 3 years. I know, it’s a long time. But I’m finally making the sweater. I have the body mostly done. BUT, I was afraid that I didn’t have enough yarn. So I put the body on a cable with stoppers on it and started to work on the sleeves. And if I do run out, at least I’ll have the sleeves done and if I must use another yarn, it will only be for the ribbing. Smart, right? It took me a while to figure that one out. But I’m in progress.
So as I’m doing this, I realized that I LOVE top down sweaters! Why? Because I can try it on at every step. I can see if the body is long enough. I can see if the sleeves are decreased enough. I can do that over and over again. And when I’m finished, I KNOW it will fit and it will be exactly what I wanted to make.
How do you find one? Well I do a ravelry search. I know there’s lots of controversy about ravelry right now, but it is still the biggest repository of patterns. I search for a sweater: cardigan. I pick construction: top down. I pick the yarn I’m using: worsted. The algorithm whittles and whittles until you get a set of patterns to choose from. At that point I have 1591 patterns to choose from. I wanted steeks and colorwork so that whittled it down to only 19 choices. And I was good with that. I found 3-4 that were possibles for me.
So if you are looking to start a sweater, please consider a top-down sweater for a more pleasant experience and a more fitting and flattering sweater.
I just dropped Episode 7. It’s all about how to pick the right yarn for your next project. I start with some of the questions I ask myself as I’m dreaming of a new project. Don’t you love starting something new? I do! I do think it’s like dreaming. There is the entire world of garments and yarns and colors and weights to choose from. Yes, it can be overwhelming. But there are still some parameters.
In this podcast I talk about what I’ve learned about picking yarns for cables and laces. I talk about when to sure semi-solids and when to use variegated yarn. I want to help you to start a project that will be enjoyable and will meet your expectations. For instance, for both cables and lace stitches, you need to have yarn that is stretchy. You also need to have yarn that will hold its shape when it is blocked.
Are you knitting for a picky person: toddler, teenager or senior? Are you knitting something that is fitted or something like a shawl where size doesn’t really matter? You have to take these into consideration.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I live every day during these pandemic times. How many times do I get up and walk around the house or around the block…well our “block” is 25 acres of trees, grass, deer and rocks.How many times have I walked to the fridge or the pantry as a way to use up time or quell some anxiety or to relieve some boredom. If that is you too, watch this great video.
I’ve been thinking about being the slowest knitter in the world too. I have to say that my stitching isn’t that slow. No, really it’s that my time over the target, at the needles, is really limited. It’s not that I don’t have time either. It is about building the habit of knitting every day.
This week I am combining these 2 areas of my life and working towards a healthier life. If you have been reading lately, you know about my #norhinebecksweater. This is a handspun, colorwork, steeked cardigan. I want it to be done by the time that Rhinebeck really would be happening. That’s the 3rd week of October.
I consistently look for snacks at 3pm….you know….an after school snack. Geez.. how many years has that been a habit? So from 3-5pm, I will be knitting on my sweater. This solves 2 problems. I have more time at the needles. It’s built into my day. AND I won’t be snacking, because my hands and mind are occupied. There won’t be anxiety, well only a little bit when I wonder if I have spun enough yarn for this sweater. And I will not be bored. I can not eat because my hands are busy. It is a win-win. I’m in my 10th day today. I know it takes 28 days to form a habit, but I’m 40% finished with that. And I don’t suppose that this sweater will take 18 more days, but who knows, maybe it will. If I finish this, I’ll pick up another unfinished project. I’m feeling better already!!
What are you knitting these day? Anyone working on a No Rhinebeck Sweater? I’d love to be accountability partners if you are!!
Okay, it’s a strange time right? The stores have limited hours and limited availability. The festivals are all virtual. And it’s hard. It’s hard to find that skein you’re looking for. It’s hard to trust that the skein will look like the photo when you get it. It’s hard to try to look through all those Ravelry patterns to find your next project. Let’s not even get into the changed look of Ravelry and all the distress it’s causing many of us.
I know you’re knitting or crocheting or spinning or felting. You have to be, in order to maintain your sanity and to feel creative and positive. I am too.
Have you just given up? Do you say to yourself, “I’ll just use my stash. I’ll just find patterns in the books or magazines that I bought a while ago. I’ll just use the needles I already have.” And even if all these things aren’t thrilling to me, it is just too hard to do online shopping.
So how can I help you find what you need? Well there are a few ways…. First of all, you can make an appointment to come by. Bring yourself and up to 2 others. We will all wear masks. I have hand sanitizer. It’s a nice drive in the country.
Secondly, you can make an appointment for a Facetime appointment with me. I can help you shop for a project. You can ask me the same questions you might as in person. We can set up a project for you with the yarn and the pattern. And then I can send it to you in the mail. Especially if you want to make a Casapinka shawl or one from Steven West or maybe a nightshift, where you need so many different skeins. I can help you put it together. That’s the part I love. I love working with you to come up with skeins that will make wonderful projects.
So how do you set up an appointment? Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get out calendars out and make a date.
Lastly, I am holding open studio days. The next one is September 19th. Of course we will all wear masks. I will have the hand sanitizer and I’ll let 2-3 people in the store at one time.
My Autumn collection has hand dyed yarn on our Corrie Sock yarn base. These skeins are fingering weight, 430 yards in a 4 oz skein and cost $28 per skein. It is made of Corriedale superwash wool and nylon. We also have hand dyed yarns on our Chinook Yarn Base. These are also fingering weight yarn, 414 yards in a 4 oz. skein and coast $32 per skein. It is made of superwash Merino wool, Cashmere and Nylon. Find them here!
I’ve finished the colorwork yoke. I’ve gotten to the sleeve/body split. Now it is just knitting, knitting, knitting!
I kinda wonder and worry if I have enough handspun. So I’m thinking about alternatives in that case. I know I want to have more colorwork at the hem and the cuffs. And so maybe that is where I add in other yarns.
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!!
Where to find us
Open by Appointment! Email me for an appointment or FACETIME
We are located in Frederick MD. You can shop in person with a mask and lots of social distance! Or buy online and stop by to pick up…I’ll run your purchases out to you in your car.