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.
The garden is captivating this year. Above is a photo of clematis Montana Odorata putting on quite a show. It’s fragrant and smells like vanilla to add to its appeal. Right now I’m spending all my time in the garden. We’ve finished our shows until September. I’ll get back to designing in a few weeks time when the June garden peak has passed, but right now it’s hard to get me out of the garden!
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 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.