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Some KAL Color Choices

Our Winter Hat KAL starts on February 4th. It coincides with the Winter Olympics. One of the most popular patterns this time is the Correlation Hat.

Correlataion Hat

This hat is made with one skein of our Synergy yarn. You can find it here. This is a merino farm yarn that is marled and when knit gives a gradient look as well. It looks handspun without all the work.

Here are some color choices:

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Quick Holiday Gifts

I have many patterns available and some kits for quick holiday gifts. I also show you a couple of patterns that I didn’t design. They are available on Ravelry and you can buy your yarn from us. Watch this video for some suggestions:

Want the links? Click here for the PDF with links that you can download!!

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Naturally Dyed Mini Sets

Today, I thought I would highlight some of my naturally dyed yarn. This yarn is our PolyPay worsted weight yarn. It was grown in Virginia on a partner farm. I had it clean, carded and spun into this wonderful 2 ply.

Each set has four 50 yard mini skeins. Some are gradients and others are just colors that look great together.

I new yellow and green set is in the works. You can find them 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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I Love Wool!

Wool has a bit of a bad rap. So many people tell me they can’t wear wool because they are allergic or it is itchy. Yes there are some itchy wools that shouldn’t be worn next to your skin. But there are many wool yarns that are soft to the touch and make fabric with lovely drape and softness. The trick is to understand the difference and choose the best wool for your project. In my opinion, it is totally worth the time and trouble to find a wool yarn that works for you and for the think you want to make. Even my itchiest mohair wool blend sweater loses it’s itch factor when I wear a cotton turtleneck underneath and I get the benefit of beauty, comfort, warmth and durability.

Our first two sheep: BFL named Puck and Cormo named Viola plus 2 angora goats

Wool is a totally renewable, sustainable fiber. It grows back year after year. Our sheep are mostly grass fed as well. So I’m not feeding them grain or other processed feed. This is a big part of regenerative agriculture. The sheep and goats eat down our grass and as they do they also fertilize the ground.

Processing wool does not have to have a large carbon or chemical footprint.  Cleaning takes hot water and some soap.  The rest of the processing (carding and spinning) can be done totally by hand, but even if it is processed at a mill, there is just electricity used in most cases. One of the mills that I use is even going solar. So even less electricity from traditional coal fired plants is being used.  

Naturally dyed wool and mohair yarns

Superwash wool has the least “itchiness”. It has been highly processed to remove the scales on the individual fibers. Tha means that it also has the highest environmental impact. I do like to use superwash wools for socks, knowing that it is a little less ecologically friendly. And knowing that the care and use of those socks will be easier.

Wool is biodegradable. In fact, it can be used as an excellent nitrogen source for mulching. Some shepherds use the skirtings (dirtier wool from the bellies and legs) as mulch for their gardens or orchards. You can also put it into your compost pile to add valuable nitrogen to your soil in your gardens.

Wool is flame resistant so it naturally defends against fire.  When exposed to a flame, the fibers extinguish themselves. This can’t be said for manufactured fibers that contain plastics.

Wool is a great insulator. Some new “green” homes are using wool as insulation.  As insulation, wool wicks moisture away from the home and reduces the presence of mold and bacteria. It also acts as a filter for odors in a home. This insulator property is also why wool socks, undergarments and sweaters are worn by hikers and other alpine enthusiasts. Even when you sweat the wool moves it away from your body and keeps you cooler. As outerwear, wool keeps you warm in the winter by insulating and cool in the summer by being breathable. It wicks away moisture from your body, so the moisture is evaporated. It also repels water since the outer layer of the fiber is hydrophobic.

For garments, wool is very easy to care for. Of course you shouldn’t put it in the washer and dryer, but handwashing and air drying is all you need to do. Most stains are easy to remove either with soap and water.  It is highly durable so it is a smart investment for your wardrobe.

Panchia says “Try wool! Ewe’ll like it!!”

Do you love wool? Why or why not? Post a comment to share your thoughts on wool.

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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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WIP Wednesday: Laundry Edition

I’ve been making wool dryer balls in my spare time. Why? Well, I have some roving that is not great for spinning or felting. I need all my wool to do something on the farm. This is what allows us to be sustainable. All or nearly all wool and mohair is used to make something here.

Why use dryer balls? Well according to the Environmental Working Group, dryer sheets and fabric softeners damage your clothing and they also damage your health. The chemicals in these products contain chemicals known to cause cancer, irritate your skin, and cause reproductive issues. Also when dryer sheets are heated, these chemicals become airborne and can affect your lungs and exasperate asthma. These chemicals are know collectively as Quaternary Ammonium Compounds or QACS. These chemicals make your towels less absorbent. I’ve surely experienced that. They will also wear down the ability of your clothing to wick away moisture in socks or athletic wear. QACS stay on your fabrics for quite a while and they slowly seep out over time between washings. And as they seep they are affecting you, your family and all the fabrics in your house. Also what happens to the “used” sheet? It goes to the landfill. There are still those chemicals in the sheet. And the contents of our landfills can contaminate ground water and other water sources. Just think about all the loads of laundry in all the houses in your neighborhood or city or state, that’s a lot of these QACS in the environment.

Dryer balls are completely natural. Mine are made of 100% wool. Wool is great at wicking away moisture. It is antimicrobial as well. They work by bouncing around in your dryer. They lift and aerate your laundry. They help the heat to disperse within your load and thereby reduce your drying time. Because they reduce the heat in your dryer, they also reduce the static cling. Static builds up with more and longer heat in the dryer. They contain no chemicals, just wool, pure wool.

Each package of dryer balls contains 4 softball sized wool balls. Just toss them in your dryer and turn it on. In between laundry days or sessions, leave them in the dryer. I’ve had mine in the dryer for over 5 years. They last forever. Sometimes they get a little worse for wear and you can certainly replace them but these are economical as well. A box of dryer sheets costs somewhere between 5 and 11 cents a load. When you switch to dryer balls you will have that money to spend on something else, fancy coffee? yarn? some kind of treat? And you have the knowledge that you are making the world a better place. That’s work it for sure.

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a tale of 2 shawls

Well, it’s a strange, strange world right now. The repetitive motions of knitting, seeing the colors change and watching a shawl grow can be just what you need for your mental health. This weekend is big for us around here. First it is our first Virtual Fiber Art Studio Tour. This is actually our 4th year of having the tour. Each year we have a featured shawl that is made with hand dyed mini-skeins. In years past, our tourists could pick up a skein here and there and then make a souvenir of the weekend. This year, since it is virtual, and we will have to mail all your purchases, we decided to ask our indie dyers to make packs of 5 mini’s.

This shawl is called “Ticket to Anywhere”. And I sure would like a ticket somewhere right now!! It is an asymmetrical triangle shawl that uses ten 100-yard minis. When you purchase a set from me or any of our dyers, you will recieve a code to discount the shawl pattern to $0. The code will be active from Saturday, June 6th to Monday, June 8. Do you have to wait until Saturday to buy the yarn? No! It’s up on my website right now. Click here to see what I have. I’ve added a few other choices as well. So go and take a look.

The second great shawl is called “Hug Shot”. It is designed by Casapinka. This shawl takes 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I have 8 different choices. And if you find a combo that you like better, just say that you’re buying this for the Hug Shot shawl, and I’ll send you a code. The code gives you the pattern for free. This code will be active from June 6th to 11:59pm June 14th. Casapinka says that this shawl is very soothing to knit. And it looks like a lot of fun, for sure!! Click here to see the combo’s that I have for you. These combos will be dyed to order when the current stock runs out.

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terrific threesomes!

Yesterday was my first “Thrifty Thursday”. I showcased my shawl triads. These are sets of 3 skeins that can be used for a myriad of shawl patterns that are available to knitters and crocheters. This is a service that I typically provide buyers at in person shows. I help you pick out yarns that go together. Right now that isn’t available.

I have 12 unique sets. They are all one of a kind. Once someone grabs a kit, it is gone forever. All the sets are made with fingering weight yarn. Each skein is at least 400 yards. So the full set is 1200 yards or a little over depending on the bases involved.

Do you want to see them up close? Click on this Facebook Live video that I recorded yesterday during our event.

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love this scarf

I fell in love with this scarf several years ago, when a customer came into my MD sheep and wool booth with it on. She said at that time that it was made with a “specially” dyed yarn. It remained in the back of my mind…I should look that up and dye some. So I did. And then I dyed more and more. Now I have 7 colorways that you can use to make this scarf: Optical Delusion: Conflagration.

Let me just say that it is a charted pattern. It is made with short rows, cable cast on’s and bind off’s to make the fingers of the flame. You do have to count each row. Each repeat is 100 rows. Really? Yes! But a row is somewhere between 4 and 40 stitches. You can complete a repeat pretty quickly.

I used Knit Companion to keep track of my progress, since you know I’m the slowest knitter in the world! I used the parts of KC that are free. I love that I could keep track of the number of repeats I had done. And that when I put the needles down, I could pick them back up knowing where I left off.

So if you are looking for something that is fun and beautiful. If you are looking for something to take your mind of the current world health situation. Click here are get a kit. The price includes the yarn (already caked up) and a digital copy of the pattern that’s delivered to your email and/or Ravelry accounts.

Another colorway for Conflagration Scarf