Posted on Leave a comment

holiday knitting? Too Late?

Is it too late to start knitting for Christmas? Maybe, but maybe not. How can you figure that out? Well let’s do some math…it’s simple math.  

  • How long can you knit each day? For me, it’s realistic to say that I could knit 1 hour a day for at least 6 days a week. That’s 6hours a week.  
  • How long until the holidays or when I have to mail presents?There are 6 weeks until christmas and hannukah week. So that is 36 hours of knitting.  
  • And so how long would a project typically take? Well that depends, right. So we have to think strategically. Use a bigger yarn and bigger needles or a smaller project like hat, cowl, mitts.  I know that I can knit a fingerless mitt in about 2 hours. And so that is 4 hours for a pair.  I could probably do a hat in that time as well. And I’ve timed myself on my Lacy Cowl made with luxurious Zephyrette and I know that takes me about 3 hours of knitting. So let’s go with 4 hours.  I could make 9 projects in the time left.  9?!?!?!

But is that reasonable? I’ve already told you all that I am the world’s slowest knitter. But still I could conceivably get some presents knit for some very special people.

Need some ideas? Well a Zephyrette cowl makes a very luxurious gift with very little knitting time. The Lacy cowl below took me 2-3 hours of TV knitting to complete. The other cowls will take slightly longer. The yarn is so soft and warm and beautiful that it is a pleasure to knit and it will be a treasured gift for that knitworthy friend or relative. Pick a skein of Zephyrette and let me know what pattern you are interested in and we’ll get you started on this gift.

Posted on Leave a comment

what does that colorway look like?

I’m asked at every show what a particular colorway will look like when it is knit or crochet. There isn’t a simple answer. Even if I did a swatch for every base and every colorway I have made, when you use that yarn, it will look different than the sample.

It all depends on the number of stitches. A yarn that will stripe in a sock of 62 stitches will might have sections of pooling and striping in a shawl where the stitches are constantly changing row by row.

Here is a good example. Both mitts were knit from the same skein. The smaller mitt on the right has bigger areas where the deeper blues and greens will pool and stripe. The larger mitt is less dramatic as the areas of deeper blue and green are more spread out and therefore have a more subtle look. There is only a difference of 12 stitches between the two mitts.

These two mitts are the samples for my new mitt kitts. The yarn is my 2 ply mohair yarn from our animals. It is lofty and has a nice halo that you can actually brush to make it even more pronounced. The kitt includes the yarn and pattern for a mere $15. It is a fast gift for the holidays. These will be available during the Holiday Fiber Art Studio Tour on December 7th and 8th. Find out the details here. And I will be adding these to my online store in Monday’s update. Check back here to find them.

Posted on Leave a comment

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!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Handmade Holiday

I may be too late or I may be too early, but nevertheless, I’m working on my holiday gift list. And at this time of year, I think back to all the wonderful childhood Christmas gifts that I received over the years. I remember the anticipation to see what Santa brought for me. I remember the ritual of opening presents…not all at once, but one at a time around the family circle. And I remember the gifts that I made for my aunts and grandparents, mom and dad. Sometimes I cringe when I think back to those homemade gifts made by my small hands. But at the same time there was a nice exchange involving the whole family.

My first presents for adults were pot holders. My mom had taught me to use the sewing machine and I think that I made these when I was 10 or so. I used leftover fabric from clothes mom had made for us. And I stuffed them with old worn out towels. They were cute and functional and I could replace them year after year.

When I was in high school and knew how to type, I made a salad cookbook. I used carbon paper to make the multiple copies and so you know that it was less than neat…. I had gelatin salads and tuna salad and egg salad all the favorite salads that my family liked to make and eat.

shibori

One of my favorite presents each year was the dress that my mom sewed for me. I don’t remember being mortified by handsewn clothes as some people talk about. I loved these outfits. My mom was really good at keeping these hidden and so they were really a surprise.

Do you make handmade gifts? A tin of cookies or a knitted hat? Or do you shop for special items at a free trade store or a small business? I have 2 suggestions for you. First, if you are local you should come out for our Fiber Art Studio Holiday Tour on December 7th and 8th from 10-5. At each stop we will have indie yarn of course and we will have many finished goods ready to be wrapped and labeled for gifts, such as jewelry, felted figurines for your mantle or your tree, hand dyed scarves, napkins and tea towels, hand knit hats and shawls and many other fun items. At each stop there will be a free pattern for a small item to make for a gift. So come out and get in the holiday mood with us.

Secondly, if you are busy that weekend or live far away, you can get a quick cowl kit to make with zephyrette yarn. My Lacy Cowl is a really quick knit. By making it with Zephyrette, you will have a luxurious gift for a special friend or family member.

What am I making? I’m going to do some shibori tea towels dyed with indigo and/or walnuts that I’ve found around here. I also found some awesome handmade necklaces made by a fellow fiber farmer and I snagged a few of those for presents as well. What will you be making?

Posted on Leave a comment

Challenge: knit 10 minutes a day wherever!

Waiting in the MVA line for an emmision check on a Prius….REALLY? Yarn is synergy in mushroom colorway

I’ve told you all that I am the slowest knitter. That’s probably because I don’t knit everyday. I know that if I did, I’d be able to make a lot more and I would feel accomplished. So I’m going to challenge myself to knit everyday for 21 days. It can be as little as 10 minutes a day. Or it can be an hour or two. Whatever feels right. But the bare minimum is 10 minutes a day. Who’s in with me? Comment on this blog to let me know!

Had to wait a long while because the chick in front me didn’t know how to open the gas compartment…..REALLY?

So yesterday was a day to run errands. I needed to get an emission check on the Prius. And I needed to see if I have immunity to measles. REALLY? Yes, apparently if you travel abroad you need to have some documentation that you have immunity or you’ve received a vaccine.

Waiting for my blood draw. Pattern is Correlation by Hunter Hammersen cable hat with 2 different sides!!

So yes, knit wherever you are. Knit 10 minutes a day. See how much knitting you get done. Join me in the challenge!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Holiday Collection PreOrder

PIne Forest Trio

Just added these skeins in a holiday collection. I’m taking pre-orders for these. These yarns are on my Corrie Sock base which is a fingering, superwash wool/nylon blend. It makes fantastic socks, but is equally wonderful for shawls and sweaters, hats and mittens. Great for holiday projects to keep or give away.

Order period ends 9/15 and shipping date is 9/26. So go here to order one or all of these wonderful variations on the holiday theme.

Candy Cane Red Trio
Brilliant blue trio
Posted on Leave a comment

lacy sweater for a quick fall knit

pattern by Corrine Walcher
LiViLy Catoctin Sweater

This is a lovely lacy sweater made with our LiViLy yarn. This worsted weight yarn is made from the fleeces of my Cormo sheep. Corrine Walcher , AKA Gingyknits, is the designer. If you haven’t used her patterns before, they are concise and come in a wide range of sizes. And our LiViLy comes in great colors.

cormoworsted yarn

Here is photo of the front of the sweater. I have worn this several times. It is well fitting and the yarn is really next to the skin soft. You can get LiViLy yarn here. You can get Gingy’s pattern here.

forest green sweater
Posted on Leave a comment

knit more wherever you are

Knitting tank top at fiber show

Our lives are so busy. It’s important to take some time to do repetitive tasks like knitting or crochet. And why not do it in public? If you can work 10-15 minutes a day on your project, it will get done. So this month knit in public! I’m knitting my Zephyrette Top designed by Corrine Wacher. Obviously I’m using my Zephyrette yarn (a luxurious blend of baby alpaca, cashmere and silk) It’s like knitting with kittens!! Go grab some for yourself in my online store.

Preparing for Zephyrette top
Continue reading knit more wherever you are
Posted on Leave a comment

Behind the Scenes

This week I’ve been busy making new colorways for the fall shows. I’ve also been filling in some of your old favorites. These will be available at the fall shows: Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, Fall Fiber Festival of Virginia and at Rhinebeck. You’re not local to those shows? Send me a message and we can sneak one or two out to you.

In the meantime, visit our web store to see what is on our shelves.