I ordered some yarn last week after reading about the farm in a blog post for Woolvember. The pictures of the countryside and sheep made me want to hop on a plane and visit Cotswolds, England to see it for myself. Per the card I received with my order, the Home Farm has been in existence for over 500 years and is now fully operational spanning 150 acres of “ancient ridge and furrow. I am aching to see it!
Isn’t possible, I decided to order some of their wool. The sheep are Wenselydale and Bluefaced Leicesters, and the pictures on their website are adorable in a sheepy way. Check it out: http://www.homefarmwensleydales.com/
I purchased two different kinds of yarn. Even though the pure Winsleydale isn’t soft, and recommended for felting or “lacework or aran type coarse jumpers” I felt I wanted to work with some of the pure yarn that was the natural color of the sheep. I absolutely love the color and can picture the sheep that were walking around the countryside wearing this before they were shorn.
It is not soft, but I love it anyway. I’m not sure what I’ll make with it, but whatever it is, I won’t decide until after the holidays.
I also purchased a blend of Wensledale and Bluefaced Leicester that has been spun and dyed a beautiful spring green color. I am picturing a spring shawl. It is very soft and feels absolutely lovely. I haven’t decided what I’m actually making, but it will be fun to search for the perfect pattern.
Other than being extremely satisfied with the wool I received, the purchase was easy and delivery was fast. As a matter of fact, it only took 8 days to receive this order. It took over a month to get an order from a warehouse less than 25 miles from home and this came all the way from England! I cannot explain it.
When I opened the package, the two types of yarn were carefully wrapped in separate tissue paper packages. There was a post card with information on the farm and the sheep, and a delightful, handwritten card thanking me for my purchase and telling me about the yarn. Now THAT is customer service and why I love purchasing yarn and other goods from the farms and people who are tending the sheep or growing the food whenever possible. If possible, I hope you do too.
Here it is Wednesday again. I’ve completed 3 of the 4 items for my friend, and hope to finish the last one tonight when I get off of the computer.
The big WIP completed this week was not by me but for me. My friend Leslie completed the beautiful lace shawl she was making for me.
Here is the link: singlestitchknit.com/2015/11/16/percy-shawl-challenge-done
Leslie does fabulous lace work, you have to go to her site (above) to see all the details. I grabbed one of her pictures of my shawl to pique your interest.
The dinosaur hat fit my son’t godson perfectly, so I was very pleased. I am going to make Santa hats and snowmen for the NICU babies and plan to make Cooper one also since I know his size now.
I am going to make 2 ear warmers for one of the gals at work next. I hope to start the first one tonight.
Then I have 2 more Christmas gifts to complete in the next couple of weeks. Busy but fun times; the holidays are my favorite time of the year. But I could do without the snow 🙂
This week I finished the yellow and blue blanket, and tucked it into a Ziploc bag to keep it clean and dog hairless until someone needs a blanket for a baby boy.
My possum shawl is coming along. Starting last week I went on summer hours at work, so instead of an hour for lunch, I only have a 1/2 hour. That is fine with me because I get off earlier. But that cuts my work knitting time in 1/2, so I’ve been doing 2 rows a day. It will be done soon, but probably not this week. No pics, it really hasn’t changed much since last week.
Now on to the big project related to yarn this week. I clean out my ridiculously messy yarn/sewing closet. For the last six months, instead of putting the yarn away that I’ve ordered, I have just been chucking the boxes in the closet. It was making me crazy, but apparently not crazy enough to tidy up.
You can see it was out of control. I fully expected to open the door one day and have a yarn monster attack me with a shiny set of addi turbos. Since it was a rainy weekend, I decided it was time to find the floor in there again. I pulled everything out of it except the file cabinets and went to work. The cabinets have sewing and knitting patterns in them as well as my knitting magazines. Mea hung around until I loaded up the bed the rest of the way with bins of yarn.
After emptying all of the yarn bins, I organized them by fiber or type such as baby yarn and cotton. The special yarns I’ve ordered I keep in Ziploc bags hung by pants hangers, sometimes with the project pattern with it as well. That way they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Now I can see what I have and there is room for both dogs to follow me in to look for yarn for my next project. They think they should go wherever I go, so both were exceedingly happy that the floor was no longer cluttered with yarn. I am banning myself from yarn shops unless there is a specific color or type of yarn that I absolutely have to get that isn’t available in my stash.
The only job I have left is organizing the separate patterns I have downloaded or pulled from magazines. I purchased some plastic expandable folders and am sorting them by type. As soon as I am finished they will go into the files with the magazines. I also want to add all of my books and magazines to Ravelry, but that is a job that might not be done until fall.
As for this week’s projects, I am going to work in my shawl and maybe even finish it 🙂 and make a “no-sew” tutu for my cousin’s little girl.
This week I pulled out the blue and yellow baby blanket to finish. I decided it needed to be done before the weather gets warm since it is almost crib size and pretty warm when I am working on it. I only have one yellow row and four blue rows left, then the border. I might get it finished tonight during the hockey game (GO HAWKS!).
My shawl is coming along great. I’ve started the last section of lace, but of course each row takes quite a while to knit since every other row increases by four stitches. By the time I took the pictures tonight the sun was going down, so the first one of just the top few rows show more of the true colors than the other, but I like the look of the lace in the second pic so I added it. I am excited to finish it because it will be perfect to take with me to the movies and restaurants this summer when the AC is turned down to meat locker temperatures.
The last thing I did this week was repair a sweater for a woman I work with. It was kind of tricky.I couldn’t crochet it because only a small section of stitches unraveled when a piece of the yarn broke. By using a sharp needle, I was able to “crochet” with it by basically doing a chain stitch where the single crochet needed to go, and weaving the thread through the open stitched at the bottom of the shells. The hardest part was weaving the ends as the yarn is fragile and didn’t want to go easily into the backs of the stitches so they would not be seen. I think it turned out pretty good. Hopefully Barb will agree and she’ll be able to wear her sweater again.
You can see the edging off in this picture.
This is the same edge after the repair.
I am thinking about my next project, since I might finish the shawl this week and will finish the baby blanket. The blanket will go in my stash closet to wait for the next baby boy to be born.
Which brings me to my MIP (Mess In Progress) that I call my stash closet. I absolutely need to clean that mess up. Somehow it got way out of control and it is making me crazy. If it rains this weekend, I just might tackle it. If you don’t hear from me next Wednesday, send in the Mounties or at least a St. Bernard with a flask of a nice red wine to rescue me.
Anyone who knows me, or has read a post of two of mine, knows that I not only love all things about knitting and crocheting, I also love all things about books. One of my favorite – or I should say two of my favorite things to do in my spare time is to read and knit. I know, you are all saying, “duh, thanks for the peek into your inner self what that revelation. NOT!”. But have you ever read AND knit at the same time? Nirvana!!! LOL for me anyway.
This week I’ve finished a couple of audio books and a few projects. The NICU hats are making another appearance this week. I’ve finished 2 blue and a pink.
In the last few weeks I’ve finished 10 of them, so I’m taking a few weeks weeks off from baby bears and hopefully finish my shawl and the blue & yellow blanket that got shelved to make the pink one.
It is hard to see the shawl because I can’t spread it out any more because I’d risk dropping stitches off the tips of my circulars. In this pic the top of the shawl is on the bottom left. It is zipping right along. I’m happy with my progress as well as the way the pattern is working up.
Regarding the audio books I finish, the first I have been listening to for several weeks. Alan Turing: The Enigma is a really, really long and sometimes way too technical book. But it is also a heart wrenching look at a man who has not fit into the society he was born into and spends his life playing an “imitation game” (his words) to fit in as best he can. The magnificent film based upon this book is tragic in the triumph Turing being instrumental in solving the enigma code, yet never able to be true to himself.
The book was a bit too technical for a laymen like me, but I did enjoy it. The letters Alan wrote to family and friends gave me a glimpse into this brilliant man. I was thankful that it was an audio book because I enjoyed it more not having to read all of the slower parts.
(picture from audible.com)
The next book I finished was #GIRLBOSS Sophia Amoruso’s how to succeed in business on your own terms. She advises hard work and being at the right place at the right time. There are some great tips for doing your best in a job interview. If you are planning a job change Amoruso’s book could really help you rise to the top of the list if you follow some of her tips.
(picture from Amazon.com)
So it has been a good week. Hope you all had a good week too.
Here’s the thing. I started to use the beautiful yarn I told you about last week. First of all I was wrong, it isn’t silk, it is mink yarn. Because the band was all in Chinese, I couldn’t read it and I’d had it so long I’d forgotten that it was mink! Second of all I wasn’t wrong about not liking to do lace. As a matter of fact I hate lace with lace weight yarn, but I do like lace with sport, fingering or worsted yarn. So I gave Leslie the yarn to make a beautiful shawl for me (her idea and I should have taken her up on the offer immediately instead of waffling around).
But call me stubborn, I still had the itch to make a shawl myself. So I looked through my ample stash and came upon some possum yarn that is fabulously soft and much easier to work with than the mink I handed off to Leslie. In case you are wondering, it is possum, not opossum yarn, made from marsupial possums in New Zealand. I did a post about it when I ordered it, if you want more info check it out here. https://writeknit.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/new-zealand-possum-yarn/
It is coming along nicely if I do say so myself 🙂
The other project I’ve worked on is NICU bear hats during my lunch hours at work. Because I need to count the increases and stitches on the shawl, I only work on it at home. Below is a work in progress pic of the hats and a completed pic.
This week projects will include the shawl at home, and NICU hats at work. I am not sure if I’ll make more bears. or work on another pattern. Hopefully I’ll have 4 or 5 complete to share next week.
This week I spent more time reading than knitting. I started a polar bear hat that is ready to bind off and stitch together. It won’t take long, but it will be at least tomorrow before I finish it. Next week you’ll see it completed.
I’m still obsessed with starting a shawl that in all likelihood will never be finished. I love the look of a lacy shawl, but in reality I’m not a lace knitter. I sometimes convince myself I’ll have the patience and find a quiet place to begin and actually complete a beautiful lace shawl, but honestly I am better off with something that doesn’t need to be counted. Carefully. Without distraction. Riiiight.
I have some beautiful yarn. I ordered this silk from China in 2012. I have other lace weight yarns in my stash, but this one just calls to me when I think of a soft, silky shawl to wrap around my shoulders on cool evenings. Maybe a nice glass of wine, sitting on my porch swing with my hubby…all of this sounds so romantic, but unrealistic.
I am more likely wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a Pike’s Peak logo on the front, sipping a Diet Coke from the can and listening to my sweet hubby complain about being cold. AND this scenario would not require completion of the shawl that I am already love/hating.
I have whined enough about it to my friend Leslie, that today she offered to take the yarn and knit it for me. She loves to knit lace and does a great job, without any whining at all. It is really tempting. Maybe I’ll just start it, get sick of it and hand it off to Leslie.
We are oddly opposite. She loves order, I thrive on disorder. I’m loud, she’s quiet. I’m old enough to be her mother and that is ok because we both love to knit. You can tell who we are by our websites. Mine is kind of scrambled with reading, writing and yarn arts and hers is very tidy and organized. Check it out: http://singlestitchknit.com
So I don’t know what I’ll be starting this week. I will be finishing the white NICU hat for sure. I am seriously thinking short sleeves to finish the brown sweater I started way too long ago, maybe this week but probably not.
I also have lots of squares for a Lego blanket started. Maybe I’ll make a few of them. Not likely tho.
Perhaps I’ll make Leslie nuts and start a shawl. 🙂