I seem to have totally missed April. I’m still working on my two sweaters a month challenge and am nearly done with my sweaters for April. The photo of the sweater above is the hand spun sweater from March. The fleece is Dorset fleece from Clark Farm in Carlisle. The design is a reknit of the first sweater I attempted on the knitting machine that came out too small generally and with some other sizing issues. I liked the design so I decided to reknit the sweater in another batch of hand spun yarn. The blue was dyed with acid dyes. This was the hand spun sweater for March. I hope to post about the sweater from commercial yarns from March and the hand spun and commercial yarn sweaters from April soon.
This is my hand spun sweater from February. The grey is a Romney merino cross that I purchased at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival a few years ago. The white is a Montadale fleece I purchased a while ago. I had never spun Montadale before and enjoyed spinning it quite a bit. The pattern is mine with the yoke being knit by hand while on my travels in February to visit my brother in Napa Valley and my sister on the big Island in Hawaii and the body and sleeve knit on the machine. The resulting sweater is very comfortable and lovely to wear.
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!
It’s been forever since I’ve written a blog post. The last couple of months have been spent preparing for the fall and winter shows. I wrote and had the Stars in the Summer Sky sweater test knit and add a hat and mittens to go with it. At the Adirondack Wool Arts Festival I started on a sweater for myself from my handspun. The yarn is from a lovely almost black Romney fleece and the white is from a Montadale fleece. The first of that breed that I’ve ever spun. The wool was lovely to spin. The sweater pattern is based on a hat pattern that I designed years ago. This will hopefully be my Rhinebeck sweater for this year. We’re nearly ready. Stop by and stay Hi if you’re at Rhinebeck.
I have almost missed April altogether. It’s that time of year when my interests turn to gardening. So when the sun has been out and the weather is warm I’ve been outside mulching and poking and planning. I’ve also been doing fibery things on all those rainy days. I finished another sweater from handspun. A lovely grey Merino/Romney cross and a stunning black Romney yearling fleece. And last week we vended at Gore Place and had a great but very cool and windy day. We’re looking forward to vending at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival this weekend. We are very excited to be vending there for the first time!
March has been a quieter month. We had our last show at the Wayland Winter Farmer’s Market Fiber Days and I did a program for my spinning guild on blending for a gradient. Mostly I’ve been knitting for myself. I made the brown sweater in the photo above. The brown is a from a fleece from Black Brook Farm that I’ve had forever of unknown breeding and the white is from a Border Leicester fleece that I acquired several years ago from a horse acquaintance. I’ve had the idea of a yoked brown sweater in my head for a long time. I’m not totally sure I’m in love the the yoke pattern but the sweater fits wonderfully and will be a great addition to my wardrobe.
I totally missed November it’s been so busy. For anyone that’s making and selling the last quarter of the year is always so busy because you’re selling and if you’re like me you’re also still making because you didn’t make enough earlier in the year. I made this wet felted pillow earlier this fall and it sold. I hope to do some wet felting this week.
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.
Production Knitting. After playing all summer with buckthorn and natural dyeing I’m back to work making finished goods for sale a the fiber festivals and shops we’re a part of. The mittens are handspun shetland fleeces. The dark grey and white are the natural colors of the fleece and the blue is acid dyed. The body of the mittens are knit on our “hacked” brother 910. The thumbs are knit on “sticks”.
The colors of buckthorn. I’ve been dyeing with buckthorn. It’s and incredible range of colors from just one plant.
Below is a photo of a Clark Farm Hat and cowl that I made in exchange for fleeces from the 2017 sheep shearing at Clark Farm. The wool is from the 2016 shearing. The colors from from the buckthorn dyeing I did this past summer and the designs are mine.
I have been making socks on the circular sock machine. The light grey is single ply hand spun Romney and the red heels and toes is two ply Tunis that I dyed for some sampling for a weaving of a jacket. Socks are a great way to use up small bits and pieces.