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.
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.
Wow! Let’s be real here. The world is changing by the minute, right? Two weeks ago I was dreaming about my 10 days in Europe on a river cruise. I was thinking about what clothes to take, what books to read and what knitting projects to take for the long plane ride. Now? We’re staying home. Not because we are worried about getting sick, but because we were worried about getting stuck someplace. With MD sheep and wool festival coming up and off farm jobs awaiting, we just couldn’t risk getting stuck. Are you experiencing something similar?
If you want to drive out to the country and shop for materials to make a new shawl or sweater, just shoot me an email and make an appointment to come over and shop.
Do you need to self quarantine? Well, you can always buy a kit or a sweater full of yarn in our webstore.
Knitting is always there to help you through long days. And we are here to help you with new inspiration and ideas to make your hands and heart soar!
Then Zephyrette is the yarn for you. It is a blend of baby alpaca, cashmere and silk. It is super soft but holds its shape. It has a wonderful hand and makes a fabric with great drape. I’ve just updated the shop with many, many more colorways that have been available in person but not online. You’re in luck today.
This is my cutest cup and it’s full of Mexican hot cocoa. Yes I’m inside today and it is still so nippy outside. I let the fire go out in the stove and until I restart that fire, I’ll be keeping these beauties on. This is from my Fingerless Mitt Kitts. You can grab one here.
The pattern is one of the featured free patterns that will be given away during our Fiber Art Studio Tour on December 7 and 8. You can find out all about this tour and how to get a set of free patterns from each of the studio stops here.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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?
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!
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.
So yes, knit wherever you are. Knit 10 minutes a day. See how much knitting you get done. Join me in the challenge!!
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.