Thursday, March 30, 2023

Black And White

I just snapped this picture before shearing and didn't notice the two noses until I saw it on the computer.  I love Tara's black on white nose next to Pinto's white on black.  Like puzzle pieces :-).  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

My Favorite Sheep...Of The Week

Miss Ewenice

During the 2022 Tour de Fleece I spun quite a few samples of some of my oldest and dearest sheep.  The inspiration for that challenge came from finding a bit of PPPP's roving just before the Tour began and enjoying hanging out with her once again.  

After spinning her skein I decided it would be fun to make another Maggie Rabbit, but this time turn the rabbit into a sheep.  And instead of a sweet little cape, I'd make her a nice wool sweater with some cables or lace and change her paddock boots into wellies.  I'd use PPPP's yarn and it could be a tribute to one of my favorite sheep.

I finally got around to getting the project started this past week, but when I went looking for doll sized sweater patterns I found most called for yarn that was heavier than I'd spun.  Note to self, find a pattern and then spin the yarn.  

Not to worry though.  I can spin a new skein...but now I think I may have used the last of her roving :-(.  I don't remember finishing out the bag, but I can't find it if I didn't.  I did find some Miss Ewenice roving though.  She'd make a fun Maggie Rabbit/Sheep, too!  

I pulled out some roving, gave it a quick run through the drum carder to freshen it up a bit and then put it on Instagram with a little teaser, asking for guesses as to who I was getting ready to spin.  Turns out this is not the first time Ewenice was shared as a "guess who" post.  

Trick or Treating with Ewen

The yarn turned out as pretty as Miss Ewenice and in honor of a grand old gal, Miss Ewenice is our sheep of the week.

Ewenice was the last sheep in a friend's handspinner flock and they didn't want her left all alone and asked if she could move here with our flock.  This was back in the very early days of the blog, March of 2007.  If sheep could live forever, she'd be 20 years old this year. Oh, if only sheep could live forever.

She didn't immediately take to our flock of mostly feral Jacobs and a couple of crazy Border Cheviots so she spent a good deal of time hanging out around the house with us.  She was  polite and well behaved and I don't remember her ever getting into any sort of trouble.

I know she took care of Ewen McTeagle when he was still pretty young and maybe that's how she integrated into the flock.  She babysat several bottle babies over the years, but she's most famous for taking the very best care of Renny.  

There are numerous Ewenice and Renny posts and I'm not going to link them all here.  If you don't know Renny's story, it starts out pretty horrible (heads up if you go looking back), but has a happy ending.  Miss Ewenice played a huge part in that happy ending.  Her ending, while heartbreaking, had a bit of a happy ending as well.

Interestingly/sadly, last night I didn't have the baby gate secured well enough and Rocky wandered out of the barn in the the middle of the night. I found him just before dawn, thankfully okay, standing right under that same tree.  Salt loved that tree as well.  Hopefully those good girls were keeping him company and I'd like to think they told him to stay put.

Sooooo, are you ready for me to knit another sweater?

Friday, March 24, 2023

The Jared Sweater

If you disregard the fact that I started this very simple raglan sleeve sweater with basically only one technical element all the way back in September, it appears as if I've been very productive lately.  Alas...

I really don't know what to say about why it took so long to get this one right.  It truly should not have been a difficult journey.  I wanted a bulky sweater that looked like bulky Jared, knit from a big squishy yarn spun to resemble big squishy Jared.  Both the heavier weight yarn and the basic design should have equaled a fairly quick knit.

I picked the pattern mostly because I liked the zipper, hence the name Zipper Sweater.  The folded over collar was also interesting and although I didn't know it at the time, the Italian bind off around the cuffs and the bottom has become a new favorite.

I know I posted several IG updates as I knit (and unknit and knit and unknit...), but I just don't have it in me to scroll back through nearly five months of posts to pick them out.  I will share two near the end though.  One because it shows said zipper (with, of course, a mistake I needed to take out and reknit) and the other because of the option to make whatever size yarn you want/need if you spin it yourself.

The zipper is sewn in by hand.  I'm not a great hand stitcher, but I felt that would give me the best control over exact placement and also between the very close color match of the thread to the yarn and the texture of the yarn, it would be hard for anyone to even see any of the wonky stitches.

I used double sided basting tape instead of straight pins or sewn basting stitches and that was very helpful.  I was a little intimidated at the start of the zipper installation, but would now willingly do a zipper again.  

I was hoping to recreate my Ravatar artwork, but they were both too focused on the cookies to settle down and pose exactly the same.  Still, I love them standing side by side.  Such good buddies.  Both are 13 this spring and I'm glad Tim got this picture.

This is the best view of sweater.

And here I just look like a crazy old woman who never combs her hair, but I love Jared looking at me...or probably just smelling my mouth to see if I have cookie breath.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The 2023 Iknitarod Warp Is A Wrap

Sweet little Maggie, once again demonstrating her wool worthiness.  She has shown a significant interest in everything I've brought out to the barn or barn lot and she's equally interested in WIPs (works in progress) and finished items.  I think I'll be making something from her wool this year!

Aside from the interesting structure, the beauty of a V shawl is how easy it is to wear.  No shawl pin needed.  It will stay put on your shoulders even as you are carried outside on a breezy afternoon :-).

This is where the two pieces are woven together after the front panels are finished.  The pattern I used is a representation of the Fibonacci sequence.  I used five warp threads for each "one" so instead of 1,1,2,3,5,8 I threaded 5,5,10,15,25,40.

I was prepared to really only focus on the back pattern, but I'm equally happy with the simple stripes on the front as well.  I think it's a nice, clean look.

I really enjoyed working with this yarn - the Lamb Camp Legacy blend from all the sons and daughters of Rocky and Jared when they were working over at Tring Farm.  It was easy to warp and weave and it held up well to all my weaving and unweaving and weaving and unweaving and weaving and...  It fulled really well and is surprisingly soft, even up next to my face.

I waffled on what to do with my fringe.  I am not a huge fan of twisted fringe.  I just don't love the look or the feel.  Being a Cotswold cross yarn I was concerned about the fringe felting together into a big mess so I sampled a couple of ways to keep it under control.  

I had the best luck putting big pieces of shipping tape over all the loose yarn before I washed it.  The knots still got a bit fuzzy though so I'm going to keep thinking on it as I get ready to warp up another version.  I think my next V project is going to be a mobius scarf.

All in all I, now that I'm a few days out from the fiddly joining work, I can say I really enjoyed this project and another successful Iknitarod is in the books :-).

"I somehow thought there'd be more knitting."


Tuesday, March 21, 2023


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