Posted on Leave a comment

Choosing the Right Needle for Your Farm Yarn

This tip of the day is about how to choose the perfect needle for your project. This is especially true if you are using one of our farm yarns or if you have lost the label and have no idea what to choose. This is a new tip for me. I always thought that you looked at the diameter of the yarn and tried to match that to the needle. Let me know if this tip helps you to find the right yarn for the right project.

Posted on 1 Comment

Some things I’ve learned as a knitter

Each week I do a Facebook Live session (Thursdays at 1pm). And each week I try to give my viewers a tip or two that might help in knitting, spinning or color confidence. Yesterday my tips were to help you make charts easier to understand and read.

  1. So the first one is to use highlighter tape to mark your place in the chart. Here is a link to the tape. The way that I use it is to put the tape just under the row I am knitting.
  2. My agreement with myself is that when I finish knitting for the day. I leave the tape where is was, just under the row I have JUST finished. Then when I pick it up next time, I will move the tape forward.
  3. The third tip is to number the rows on the chart if there isn’t numbering already. I number on both sides of the row so it’s easy to line up my tape. For this particular pattern there is a separate chart for the thumb gusset so I put the row numbers there too. And I put a smaller bit of tape there too.

This is not to disrespect any designer. It is just to make life easier for me, the knitter. It’s really fine to make changes, to add rows so the garment fits better. You have spent time. You have spent money. This knitting is supposed to be fun, not stressful, not frustrating. So take care of yourselves, my dears!!

Posted on Leave a comment

new WIP for Wednesday

I’ve had a couple of productive weeks lately. Oh maybe that’s because I broke my leg and so I have to sit more than I usually do. So I finished my Fibershed sweater. I finished fixing the cormo hat that was too short. And so yesterday I started this. It’s a mitten pattern. It is a kit that I bought from Riihivilla. The yarn is made from their finn sheep. And she uses natural dyes. What has fascinated me about her dyeing is that she uses lichens and mushrooms, things that are hard to find here in my area. I love reading her blog as well. She of course writes in Finnish but then has a really good English translation too.

I use Highlighter tape to keep my place in the pattern. The deal that I’ve made with myself it to leave the tape on the row I’ve just finished if it is time to quit for the day. So when I pick this up later today, I know I will change the tape to the next row. I have 4 more rows to go and then I will turn the hem up and knit the two rows together.

Posted on 2 Comments

getting closer WIP Wednesday

This is my Fibershed sweater. I’m working on the sleeves. And it’s almost done. I’m beyond the elbows. What’s taking so long you ask? Well I’m doing the sleeves two at a time. I’m doing a series of blips which is a 12 row repeat on one sleeve then switching to the other sleeve and repeating that and so forth. That way the gauge is even. And I pattern is even. And the decreases are in the same place without really having to count.

What have I learned? well I’ve learned a few things:

  1. Your future self will thank you if you weave in your ends as you are knitting. Do not wait until the end of your project. This sweater has a lot of yarn changes and so lots of weaving in the ends. But I’m staying on top of it.
  2. Knit some every day. Even if you can only manage a row or two. Soon your project will grow and you will be near the end.

What are you working on?

Posted on Leave a comment

What “backorder” means

Wow! The new colorways sold out in a matter of minutes yesterday.

Don’t worry! I will be dyeing more today and everyday until you all get the yarn that thrills you!

So when you see this yarn or colorway is “on backorder”. Know that means that I’ll be dyeing your order especially for you.

How long will it take? Not long at all. Typically if I have the yarn on the shelf, I can get your order out in priority mail within 24 hours of your purchase, exceptions being Sundays or postal holidays. If I’m dyeing to order, your yarn will be in the mail within 72 hours of your order. And many times if the weather is good, it will be sooner, as the yarn needs to be totally dry before it goes in the mail.

So go ahead! Buy that backordered colorway. If you need me I’ll be in the dye studio!!

Posted on Leave a comment

New Yarns, New Inspirations

Last week was momentous in our country. And I have to say that I was inspired by several things. The moving memorial to those who have succumbed to Covid. Washington’s sky deepening into night with the Washington Monument going from white marble to gold stone.

This is on Chinook Yarn: Super Wash Merino, Cashmere and Nylon. It is fingering weight with 414 yards per skein

The next day I loved the array of colors from all the women who attended the inauguration. From Michelle Obama’s burgundy pantsuit and long coat to the pastel coats of the Biden girls. And of course Dr. Biden in her blue sparkly ensemble. I just loved the power of the color. The statements that women will not be overlooked.

Sparkly Yarn is super wash Merino with Lurex. It is fingering weight with 400 yards per skein

Both are available in our webstore. Get some for yourself today! Click here for Dr. Biden colorway. Click here for Covid Memorial Colorway

Posted on Leave a comment

Farm Chicks Yarn Affair

It’s time for our Farm Chicks Open Studio. We’re calling it Yarn Affair this time and our theme is Hygge. I’ve written about this previously in the blog. We will be open 10am to 3pm on January 16th….this Saturday. We will be having a Zoom Happy Hour from 4-5pm EDT. I will be sending out the zoom link in my email blast tomorrow. So be sure to sign up for my mailing list to get the info.

Each month we pick a photo as an inspiration for the 3 of us: Flying Goat Farm, Dancing Leaf Dyeworks and Avalon Springs Farm. This month we picked the above photo of a cozy reading or knitting space.

This month I decided to make a mini-skein pack. I wanted to have all of these beautiful colors. I wanted them separate and not on the same skein. So I will have the mini-skein packs ready for sale this weekend and also on the website by Sunday. Each pack as five 100-yard mini skeins ($40). They are ~500 yards per pack. The yarn is my Corrie Sock Yarn which is a superwash Corriedale wool with nylon blend. This yarn is one of my work horses. It is great for socks, but equally wonderful for a shawl, scarf or hat. It is a fingering weight yarn with nice drapablity.

Posted on Leave a comment

Time to Take Extra Care

Colder weather is here. We’ve had some snow. We’ve had some ice. We’ve had some dreary, dreary days.  I am feeling like I want more tea and hot cocoa. I want to be cozy and cook cozy meals like stew and soup. I feel like spinning and knitting my locavore sweater. What I am wanting more right now is “hygge”. Have you heard of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga and rhymes with sugar)?

Hygge is a Danish word that cannot be directly translated.  Hygge is the embodiment of coziness along with enjoying good times with great people.  It means to take the time to experience your life. It means to slow down and pay attention. Sharing a latte with friends on Zoom is Hygge. Knitting is hygge. Filling your home with candlelight and earthy stews and soups is hygge. Taking time to read a book or listen to one of your favorite podcasts is hygge. Many people think that hygge is what makes Danish people the “happiest” people on earth. 

But why am I writing about hygge now? It is a strange time. We have so many hopes and dreams all bundled up into 2021.  We have some hope about the vaccine being given out. But at the same time, we are in bigger and bigger surges. Bill and I have been isolating and masking and washing and all of that, for so, so long. And I know that we will need to keep in this semi-isolated state for several more months. So for me, thinking about practicing Hygge is just what I need right now. I believe that it will make me feel like I’m taking care of myself. It will make me feel more present in my life.  So if you feel like I do, make some hot cocoa and read a good book….Oh and knit some wonderfully hand dyed Flying Goat Farm yarn. 

You will find me here!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Helping Pick Out Yarn Combos

I’ve been missing helping people put yarn combos together. It’s part of what I love about in person festivals and now my open studio days. And there are some of you who are just not close. But last week, I had the fun and pleasure of helping Kathleen pick out some yarn from afar. She wanted to use my Cacao mohair yarn and to pair it with my synergy yarn for a pop of color. Here’s how it started:

Cacao Mohair and Synergy yarns

Then we narrowed it down to these 2:

Cacao Mohair with Majesty Synergy
Cacao Mohair and Carribean Synergy

And finally she picked out the Carribean and Majesty Synergy yarns for a shawl. It’s funny how you don’t know what will really tickle your fancy until it just hits you!! That was so fun. We did this in Facebook Messenger. But you can also set up a personal shopping session on Facetime or Zoom. Just shoot me an email and we can start from there!!

Posted on 2 Comments

A Different Kind of Virtual

This week Camp Yarnsie is taking place. Yarnsie is a community based group. They offer a myriad of classes and groups for all kinds of textile crafts including weaving, spinning, knitting, and crochet. They have open rooms nearly around the clock, so you may meet other crafters from a whole different part of the world. It’s a great place to see and be seen.

maryland shawl
Maryland, My Maryland Shawl Kit

So on Tuesday, there is a virtual marketplace that is also a little different. There are featured artists each day. You can interact with new vendor friends as well as dear vendor friends. The “camp” takes place from 11/17 through 11/30.

Our “day” is this coming Thursday. There will be videos of our animals. I will also be walking viewers through all our yarn bases and wonderful garments you can make with them. I will also have a presentation highlighting gift ideas for your crafty friends…or for yourself too. There will be a social hour where you can share your sweaters and a free felted soap class. All these events are free but you must register. Click here to find out more.

I hope to see you there!!