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TOTW: Keeping your Patterns

Do you print out your patterns? I have some I have printed and some I have bought. And I needed a way to organize these and keep track of them. I borrowed my system from a customer. She always carries her notebook to shows or to stores so she has all the information about the patterns she wants to make next.

Watch this video to see the system….. Click here to download the dividers for your own pattern notebook

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Finally! Season 3 of the Podcast is available

I took a hiatus from the podcast so that I could really get my head around this new season. In this season, I will be talking about creativity. And not just talking about it, but also giving you an exercise with each episode that you can complete to feed your creative spirit and to let it rise within you!!

Correlation Hat and Brioche cowl

You can listen to the podcast here or subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

If you would rather watch the power point. You can find it the video here.

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Rhinebeck Colorway Revealed

I love fall. I love fall full moons. This year, our Rhinebeck colorway is “Moon over the Hudson”.

You will find fall colors and the gold of a Harvest moon too.

Non-Superwash Cormo Farm Yarn

I have 2 fingering weight yarns, one is our MCN base and the other is our non-superwash Cormo Farm yarn.

On the superwash merino, cashmere and nylon base

Stop by our booth in Building A and snag some…it may not stay on the shelf very long!!

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New Fall Yarns for your Collection

We have 2 new yarns this year and I’m dyeing up A LOT of it.

The first yarn is called LiViLy Bounce. It is a sport weight. Each skein has 330 yards in each 4oz skein. And it feels so great. It is made from our Cormo fleeces. I haven’t yet put any on the needles and I need to get to that. I know it will be amazing. You can find our available colors here.

The second yarn is Trasna Fingering. It is a fingering weight with 400 yards in each 4oz skein. It is made from our Cormo X fleeces and again so nice to the touch. I have knit a swatch of this one and it has amazing stitch definition. You can find some of the colors here. More colors to come within this week.

I know you will love these yarns that are sustainable, climate beneficial and beautiful to boot!! Remember that when you buy farm yarn you support our sheep and goats through the winter!

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Love, Love, Love Your Yarn!

I have been on a quest, a quest for us to really, really love and honor the yarn we have for several years now. If you have been following my podcast or blogs or newsletter, you know this already.

But, it bears repeating, because I am still feeling the shame. And we are starting to have the opportunity for in-person shows. I want you to delight in the festivals. I want you to feel the pull of creating something new. That’s the best feeling right? It is for me.

So in order to do that you must banish the word….stash. I’ve spoken to many of you in person about ejecting this word and concept from your vocabulary. When I hear people talking about their stash it is not out of pride. I don’t hear “You should see my stash! It is lovely.” More often I hear, “I can’t buy anything until I use my stash.” It is said in a kind of Eeyore voice. It is said with shame. Let’s banish that word! Let’s trash the shame!

I propose that we all use the word, “collection” instead. You are the curator. It is your collection. Each skein and ball that is in your collection was lovingly acquired. Some with a specific project in mind and others just thrilled you with color or texture or softness. I know that when we change our language, we change our outlook or attitude about the yarn that we have collected. We will be able to see those threads in a different light. We may even go through them and realize, “Hey! I’ve grown out of using this yarn, or this color!” Those parts of your collection can be donated or gifted. You have the power to make the choices, after all it is YOUR collection. And you are the curator. That’s the job of a curator, right?

So, let’s make the commitment to value our collections, to explore them anew and discover what you love about them and which ones need to find a new home. Let’s find some new ways of using what we have and making room to buy new skeins to augment your collection. If you would like to explore your collection in an organized way, you can listen to Season 2 of my podcast. Click here to find the Season 2 Episodes or subscribe on Apple iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. I walk you through all the steps that I believe will help you organize your collection. I take you through these steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

And now is the right time to start this. Our first in-person show in the Mid-Atlantic is Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and that is a mere 2 weeks away. So change your vocabulary and change your mindset. Really REVEL in your collection. And see what you need to make your collection more complete.

What do you think? 

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Yarns Perfect for Fall

What are you planning to knit for the fall? Socks? A shawl? A sweater? Something smaller like a hat or mittens?

cormoworsted yarn
Livily Cormo Yarn. Find it here

These farm yarns are perfect for all of those garments. We have colors that are great for all your needs, whether that’s a young one who loves pink or camouflage or if you are trying to match your wardrobe. We have farm yarns that are fingering weight (Trasna Light), worsted (Livily) (Polypay and Fibershed Polypay) and DK (Trasna). We just got a sport weight back from the mill, so that is coming up before the fall shows!! We also have mohair yarns that are mostly natural color right now. So head on over to the shop here and choose the Farm Yarn tab to see it all!

These yarns will be available at the following fall shows: Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and Rhinebeck Fiber Festival.

Trasna Light fingering weight Cormo farm yarn Find it here

Want to know when more colors will be added to our online shop? Click here to get our email blasts that will alert you to shop updates.

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Life is too Short to NOT Use the Good Stuff!!

“I’m just learning, so I’m going to use cheap yarn/roving until I know what I’m doing. I don’t want to waste it.”

Skeins of the 5 Elements collection. Buy some here!

I hear those words all the time in classes and during fiber festivals. I even said it myself when I was learning how to knit socks. Before I had the yarn business, I wanted to knit socks, everyone was doing it. So I went to one of those big box craft stores and bought some acrylic yarn and needles and the pamphlet-like book “My first socks” or something like that.

I knit and knit and knit. I was just about to the heel, when I met Ellen. We roomed together at a SOAR retreat in 2007. She saw my very large and unwearable sock and said, “You need to get good sock yarn. That yarn will just not do.”  So at the vendor booths the next day I bought a skein of really teeny sock yarn. I was totally scared. I had to buy smaller (#1) double pointed needles, too. Ellen shepherded me through the casting on of 62 stitches and making the K2P1 ribbing. But that was as far as I got that weekend.

At home I again reached the heel. Ellen coached me over the phone and I was able to get through the instructions for the short rows of the heel. I could pick up the stitches easily and finish up that first sock. I cast on the other sock and soon completed that sock.

What I learned was that Ellen was right. The socks turned out so well.  I was kept engaged because the hand dyed colors kept changing through the socks. Yes, making those socks was more enjoyable. The colors were better. The end product was actually wearable, not 6 sizes too big.

Now I knit socks 2 at a time on one needle. Learn how here!

Since that time, I tell my students and customers to use the “good stuff”. It is like having great china and only using it for “special” occasions. Start taking out that silver and china and use it! Don’t save it for “later” and then never, ever use it.  Enjoy what you have! Don’t deprive yourself until you are a better knitter or crocheter or spinner. Use it today! 

Because if you don’t and continue use the wrong yarn or roving, you may just give up before you get to be a better knitter (spinner or crocheter). You think the problem is you, when really the problem is the cheap stuff that can be harder to use or doesn’t feel good in your hands or just isn’t very pretty.  That kind of reasoning becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. And you will think to yourself, thank goodness, I didn’t use the good stuff when I had no business even trying to learn to ____ (fill in the blank with spin, knit, crochet). So pull out that beautiful yarn, buy that gorgeous roving and USE IT!!

Sparkly yarn is so fun!! Find it here!

P.S. I love those socks and still wear them!!!

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what to do with all those leftover bits

I have so many baskets and vases filled with little bits of yarn leftover from this project or that one. Do you have those too? I bet you do.

What to do with them? Here’s a video that highlights one way that you might want to bring those bits back into a useful life.

Those bits can be used to make scrappy socks or a strippy sweater or a granny square afghan or a jelly roll knitted blanket. I think they would even be fun to use in an entrelac project.

When you have your bits organized by color and by weight, you are ready to just pick it up and make something that you will love. This is all part of the push to use our resources wisely. Happy Making!!

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Shawl Sets for Knitting or Crochet

Curated Shawl Sets

One of my favorite things of all time is to curate sets of yarn.  Usually, in a “normal” year, I do that at fiber festivals and farmer’s markets and even here at my farm store.  But these last 18 months have been, you know, a mess.  

I still put together sets of yarn. I did it because it is fun. I did it because it is like a puzzle, a color puzzle.  

And I have these sets, called Shawl Triads listed on the webstore.  These are all one of a kind.  They won’t be repeated. You can find them here. 

With 1200+ yards of fingering weight yarn, you can make sooooo many shawls and even some tops.  It is easy to find patterns by searching the pattern database in Ravelry.  Last time I looked there were over 5000 shawls using this yardage.  

And in order to help you get started on your new shawl with one of these sets, I’m giving you a coupon for 30% off the list price of the set.  That’s amazing! I don’t often give this kind of discount.  To get the coupon code, just sign up for our email blasts here.

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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.