Thursday, April 17, 2014

spinning winterberry farm fibers

A few weeks ago, I went to the Wayland Farmers' Market for their fiber day. Before I tell you about the fiber I got there, I just want to say, that we had a great time looking at locally grown fibers, yarns, and locally made finished products. It reminded me of the farmers' markets I used to go to growing up in France.

There were a lot of choices, but my heart settled on fibers offered by Winterberry Farm.Winterberry Farm is a small farm in Colrain, MA. Jill and Jim raise sheep and  angora rabbits. Jill hand dyes beautiful carded fibers as well as locks and sells raw fleeces.

I fell in love with her beautiful carded rovings. The roving I picked was a blend of cormo and polwarth in a heathery blue colorway with little flecks of softly contrasted colors.

It took me a little bit of time to figure out how I wanted to spin the fiber. Being more of a worsted spinner, I first had to accept that the finished yarn would be textured. After sampling, my Roadbug wheel and I  settled on a short backward draw, with no smoothing of fibers, with intention of keeping the yarn as a lightly fulled singles. The short backward raw allowed to have a little more control over the diameter of the yarn.

After I was done spinning the singles, I really liked the yarn but felt it still had too much twist for a singles. I ran the yarn again through the wheel but in the opposite direction to take some of the twist away. Pleased with the result, I finished the yarn lightly fulling it.

Here is the result, about 450 yards of super soft dk singles with character!

I have started knitting the yarn. I am working on a simple, natural, button down vest for the tiniest man in my life.

Monday, April 14, 2014

groovy socks free pattern

The Groovy Socks are back! Same great, easy, and fun chevron, but with some improvements to the pattern.

The pattern layout is completely different, this time a pdf with very clear step by step instructions. The pattern comes in multiple sizes from child to large adult. The rib flows smoothly into the chevron pattern, and the heel is an afterthought heel so you can zoom through the socks keeping you chevron groove!

I used my own handspun for the model: Malabrigo Nube in the Solis colorway and navajo plied but of course any striping, contrasted handdyed, or striping sock yarn will do.

The pattern is available as a free download on Ravelry. Click   Groovy Socks to download.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Handspinning Nube

I have been spinning a lot lately. Spinning then knitting my handspun, and unfortunately being lazy about sharing my progress. This time, though, I took the time to photograph the spinning in progress.
Malabrigo's Nube fiber is beautifully colored, easy to spin Merino. This colorway is Solis. I decided to spin as a very fine singles to be chain plied later for a scrumptious sock yarn...

I am already done with the spinning and plying,  but could not wait to start knitting with the yarn long enough to take a picture. I am using the yarn for the re-release of my Groovy Sock pattern. But that is the topic of another post.

In the mean time enjoy a bit of spinning goodness!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

city sleek: a free cowl knitting pattern

City sleek is my latest free knitting pattern. I had 2 lonely skeins of Rowan Felted Tweed DK, and no project for them. I have been very much in love with cowls, and cowls that could work for both guys and gals. Garter stitch has been a favorite of mine for a long time: simple and cushy.

The pattern is based on uneven repeats of rows and colors but with a clear progression. Slipped stitches carry the colors up into the next block creating a very fluid, sleek look. 

The systematic progression of the pattern, which is knit in the round, makes you want to knit just one more section. Before you know it you are done with the cowl, and are wearing it!

The pattern is available as a free pattern on Ravelry. To download the free pattern and get knitting city sleek click HERE.

Happy knitting!

Friday, February 7, 2014

it's a guy thing: a free sock pattern

There are a lot of men in my life. Some big and some small! There are a lot of perfect yarns in my life! Malabrigo Sock is one of them. And the Persia colorway leaves me speechless!

 I loved my men so much, and I loved this yarn so much, I had to come up with a super guy sock pattern from baby size to adult. And here it is. Seed stitch and mini baby cables combine to make a masculine, relaxed pattern, playing the subtle changes in color to the perfect tweedy effect. Don't they go great with jeans? And best of all, the stitch pattern makes the socks fun and interesting to knit, making you want to knit just a little more to get to the next repeat, even when the big men in your life are size 13!

The pattern is available as a free pattern on Ravelry. (Just click on the word Ravelry to be brought to the page.) I hope you and your guys enjoy the socks!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Give Away

It is time for another give away game! Do you remember this little sweater I crocheted for my little man?

The pattern is ready and needs a name. And guess what I need your help again! So leave a comment between now and Thursday May 16th, 10 pm eastern standard time, and with the help of a random number generator, I will pick a lucky winner. The winner will receive enough yarn and of course the pattern to crochet the sweater.
I can hardly wait to read your suggestions!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rug Hooking

Did I ever mention that I loved to hook rugs? This is a craft I have practiced on and off over the years. once again, I have reconnected with it.

I started this project about a year ago. I created the theme for the design, dyed the woolens, cut them by hand, and started hooking. I put the project aside for no particular reason, but yesterday, brought it back up,and fell in love all over again.

In craft, I am  somewhat of a philanderer!

So here is a glimpse at my new found again love.

Once upon a time, there was one little hen roosting in a bleeding heart bush, and then a second one came... These were the thoughts that came to my mind this morning, as I was photographing of my rug in progress.

Last week, my first little hen sat there all lonely, but this weekend, a new little hen joined her. When I first started working on the second hen, I thought she would be a twin of the first one, but then, she, the little hen, took control. She decided she would be redder, and plumper, making her own unique contribution to this rug.

I think, this is one of the things I love so much about rug hooking. When you relax into it, the elements of a rug take on a life of their own, surprising you and guiding you. As I hook the night sky background of the rug, it is as if the sky was talking to me, telling me, make me a little bluer, make me a little darker!

Hand-hooked rugs are as beautiful as the world we live in, bursting with life, unique, diverse, and beautifully imperfect.