Happy Leap Day. I spent most of February traveling to visit my brother in California and then my sister in Hawaii on the big island. I brought my knitting with me. I completed or nearly completed two yokes that I’m still working on the bodies and sleeves for. One is hand spun and one is from commercial yarn and destined to become a pattern, I hope. The photo above is neither of these but a design that was finished before I left for my travels. The pattern is currently being test knit. With so many sweaters on the drawing board and under construction I’m hoping to post one each week in March.
I totally missed the month of July. I was in the garden. My passion for gardening is at least as strong as my passion for spinning, knitting and designing so at this time of the year I take a break from the fiber. The clematis is Betty Anne Corning. It’s a favorite. As the weather begins to heat up it’s less fun to work in the garden and I begin to return to the fiber. I’m just up from knitting in the garden in a small shaded stone patio down the steps and and to the left. I’m working on a new sample of Hedgie’s socks in our new hand dyed commercially spun yarn. The journey from handspun yarn to commercial yarn in our samples and in the yarns we sell has been interesting and educational. I am a hand spinner. I love the process from raw fleece to finished garment. I love my handspun and that has had an effect on the commercial yarns I find acceptable. To start with as a team (Sarah and I) have agreed that we want wool that is raised in the US and spun in the US. It goes beyond that in that I prefer yarns that are two ply and not overly processed while still being soft. This means the wool is probably from a finer breed of sheep like Cormo, Merino or Rambouillet. It’s not right, wrong or the best it’s just what I like and imagine in my designs. At this point we’ve sampled a lot of yarns and settled on three that will allow us to support our current designs with yarn sourced and dyed by us. As I mentioned several posts ago the yarn so important in achieving the finished garment that you want.
I made it through January. We had three shows in three weeks. It was a lot of work but fun at the same time. We met lots of wonderful people and sold lots of patterns and yarn. My job for February is to work on a magazine article and prepare for a workshop I’m doing for my spinning guild. It will be a good change from January. At the same time I’m continuing my re-knitting journey. The cross country skier mittens are some of the first mittens I designed. The original pair has actually felted and shrunk from so much use cross country skiing. They’re a nice warm pair of mittens with long cuffs to keep the snow out of your jacket. I’m knitting them in green and white instead of the original red and white and liking the way they’re coming out.
I have been re-knitting some of my patterns in commercial yarns so that we will be able offer yarn to go with our patterns. After sampling lots of yarns we’ve settled on a yarn from Cestari that’s 100% merino that’s sources in the US. It’s the closest thing to my handspun in weight and character that I’ve found. The photo above is of Annie’s mitten’s being knit in the new yarn. The plan is to have yarn to go with some of our most popular patterns at our next show this weekend. If you’re near Pawtucket RI this weekend we’ll be at Slater Mill Knitting Weekend. Hope to see you there!
We’ve been so busy this month prepping for Rhinebeck. We had a great Rhinebeck and sold our of yarn and patterns so we’ve been dyeing, skeining and printing like crazy to get ready for Fiber Festival next weekend. Cindy finished her sweater for Rhinebeck.