Happy new year! I’ve been spending time converting some of our accessory patterns to commercial yarn so we are able to offer yarn that goes with out patterns. At the same time I’m still spinning. The photo above is my most recent handspun sweater. I purchased the fleece at the Fiber Festival of New England. The fleece is from the Northampton Smith vocational and agricultural school. It came with a note letting me know that the ewe’s name is Pumpkin and her lamb is Pie. Pumpkin is a Romney ewe with a pretty consistent grey fleece. I’m a sucker for a grey fleece but often the color has many shades making if difficult to spin an evenly colored yarn. Pumpkin it turns out it a pretty even grey. She’s also a pretty dark grey. I originally had planned to knit a sweater that was grey and over dyed grey with mustard but the over dyed grey with mustard didn’t create enough contrast. Even the navy over the grey is still fairly muted but I was pleased with the level of contrast with this pattern which is fairly busy. The photo shows the fleece to finished object with the washed fleece to the left, the carded fleece at the top, the handspun yarn to the right and the finished sweater. With my designing focused on commercial yarns I’ve decided I will try and spin and knit a handspun sweater a month to make use of the yarn I’m still spinning. We’ll have to see how this goes, especially when you add new design work and re-knitting. Always good to have a goal though!
The buckthorn berries are ripe. So I’ve started experimenting with dyeing. We did some dyeing with woad earlier this spring and I thought I’d try treating the buckthorn berries like indigo. Unfortunately all I got was green. I got some lovely greens though.
Our new summer shawl pattern using our blue gradient yarn. The shawl uses three gradient hanks. The pattern will be available soon.
Sarah has knitted the Baobabs Shawl in our hand dyed gradient purple yarn. The shawl takes two gradient yarn hanks It’s a nice lacy shawl for Spring. Its pictured in our garden under the shade phlox that are blooming now.
I have been working on a sweater in exchange for the fleeces I got from the 2018 shearing at Clark Farm a local organic farm in Carlisle. The sweater is made of handspun Horned Dorset yarn from Clark Farm. I dyed the yarn with natural dyed from my yard. The grey blue is buckthorn berry skins. The yellow is buckthorn leaves and the pinky purple is pokeweed berries in a cold acetic acid dye bath that should prevent them from fading. The pattern is a highly modified version of Jen Steingass’s Telja. It doesn’t get anymore local than this. Everything from the fleece from the sheep to the dyes and the labor to create the garment came from Carlisle.
We had a great time this past Saturday at the Wayland Winter farmers market at Russells in Wayland. We’d done a bit of dyeing to fill out the empty spots in our inventory. And I’ve spent a some time updating our website so the purple and blue gradient patterns and yarn are on the website. I’ve still got the Pleiades and pink gradient patterns and yarn to add and hope to get to it this week.
The colors of buckthorn. I’ve been dyeing with buckthorn. It’s and incredible range of colors from just one plant.
My article made the cover of the Spring issue of Spin-Off Magazine!