Swatchin'/Breaking Habits

Swatch #1 Stockinette

Swatch #1 Stockinette

I have recently come to the realization that I am always drawn to simple patterns, those in plain stockinette or garter stitch with simple silhouettes. And that with a few exceptions, that is also what I tend to knit. I just started working on a Lila Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge and it is the epitome of simple stitch patterns! It is really my ideal sweater in every possible way.  And while I am still in love with this type of style, and will probably never stop knitting patterns like this, I have this idea of trying to push myself to knit some different things. So, I purchased A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker. My tentative plan is to work my way through the book swatching each and every one of the stitch patterns.  This may be a very long process, as the book contains at least 500 different stitch patterns! And as a bonus it seems like a productive use for all my yarn leftovers. Wish me luck. 

You can follow my swatching journey (or join in!) on instagram with #swatchingeachstitch 

 

Visit to Wing and A Prayer Farm

Tammy showing us her barn

Tammy showing us her barn

Earlier this week I was able to take some time from my full-time job and go on a trip with Nido to visit Tammy at Wing and a Prayer Farm. When we pulled up the drive we were greeted by her three dogs (they were very excited to have company!). Then Tammy welcomed us into her home where she had already prepared lunch for us, it was so delicious! I even was able to enjoy it the next couple of days because she sent us home with leftovers (so sweet!). After eating and chatting for a bit she let us help her with some indigo dyeing/overdyeing that she had prepared. She had a few skeins of her yarn already mordanted and a few skeins that had already been dyed with cochineal. This was my first time dyeing with indigo, and it was pure magic. I had read about the way that the color develops from oxidation, but it was a whole other thing to see it happen! Some very beautiful jewel toned skeins emerged from the vat. We hung them to dry out on the porch, so pretty. 

 Next we headed out to meet all of the sheep, goats, alpacas, donkeys, horses, chickens and more! They were all so friendly and curious! The sheep and angora goats especially loved some neck scratches. I even got to meet the sheep Mocha who made some of the roving that I brought home with me! I have no pictures of her to share though because they all came out quite blurry, she was always on the move. 

I would love to return and spend more time with the animals, even lend a hand. This trip has me wishing for my own fiber farm more than ever! 

Wool roving from Mocha the Cotswold sheep. You may have also seen her roving featured on the first week of the Woolful "52 Weeks of Wool". Mocha is pretty famous! 

Wool roving from Mocha the Cotswold sheep. You may have also seen her roving featured on the first week of the Woolful "52 Weeks of Wool". Mocha is pretty famous! 


Gift Knits

I've been pretty absent here because of the holidays, general busy-ness, and an absurd amount of gift knitting. So, I am finally getting around to sharing two of the sweaters that I knit for Christmas. I actually knit one other sweater(a test knit) which I will be posting about shortly, a baby knit, and I am finishing up one other Christmas gift this month. I tried, I just couldn't finish four sweaters between Halloween and Christmas. No surprise there, I was a little overly ambitious. The last Christmas sweater should be done in the next week or so. 

Back to these two. These two are my sisters modeling their sweaters at the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME. The sweaters are the Anneke by Pam Allen and the Lesley by Hannah Fettig. I knit the Anneke in Quince & Co.'s yarn Tern in Seaweed. I lengthened the sleeves to be full length rather than 3/4 sleeves as the pattern instructs. I think the total length of the sleeve was 15 inches from the point where it joins the shoulder. The Lesley I knit in Quince & Co.'s yarn Osprey in Barolo. This sweater was such a great knit, and so quick! Which was just what I needed when trying to knit so many sweaters in such a short amount of time. The Lesley took me six days to finish. Six days. That is the fastest I have ever finished a sweater! I am so happy with how they came out, but what makes me even happier is that both of these sweaters have already seen a lot of wear! I am hoping that I can knit an Anneke and a Lesley for myself at some point...or maybe borrow these ones sometime. 

Also, how cute are my (not so) little sisters? I have also included a couple of photos with me and our honorary sister! 


(Finally)New Items in the Shop!

img_5946.jpg

The Wood Island Watch Cap is a hat pattern that is designed by me (my first design!)! The yarn is 100% American Wool (made in Maine!) that was hand dyed by me using natural dyes!

img_5947.jpg

This hat was truly a labor of love and has been in the works for some months, I first came up with the idea back in May of 2015 after having visited the little island that is home to the beacon. Having grown up on the coast I have always had a love of lighthouses and hearing their fog horns on stormy days or misty mornings was a regular part of my childhood. I wanted to create something that paid homage to the keepers and those making their living on the sea. When I visited Wood Island Light I learned how much hard work the keepers and their families had to do, they lived pretty isolated lives, and often could not make it to the mainland for supplies. They would grow their own food, raise animals, even flocks of sheep. So, short of spinning the yarn myself, I wanted to create something from scratch on honor of the resourceful lives that they led. First I dyed the yarn from dyes that I created using natural materials. Then I designed the pattern, keeping in mind traditional nautical knitting themes (hence the Fisherman's rib pattern). Then designing the little SALT AIR Art & Textiles labels that are sewn to the brim, and finally knitting the hats to sell them here in our Etsy shop.

(P.S. My cute sister helped by modeling for me xoxo )

I have made the Wood Island Watch Cap in three colors: a mustard yellow, a pale pink, and a light blue (the blue has the nicest color variation). I will be putting them up for sale on Etsy (here) on Small Business Saturday so keep an eye out! And remember to...

SHOP SMALL!

img_5933.jpg

Waxing Sentimental / Imogen Tee

I am finally getting around to photographing my finished Imogen Tee. The pattern is by Carrie Bostick Hoge of Maddermade, the pattern is in her first book Madder Anthology I. I made this sweater in Quince & Co.'s Tern yarn in the colorway Terra Cotta. I am completely in love with this sweater and luckily finished it with a few warm days of Fall left to wear it. In fact, the day after I had these photos taken I returned to flurries in Vermont!

My mother took these photos for me while we were visiting my grandmother at her home in Massachusetts. The house was built in the 1870s and my grandmother will have lived there for 60 years this year! She will be moving closer to family very soon, and leaving this home behind. It will be a good move for her, but it is bittersweet. I have so many fond memories, especially holidays with the little house bursting at the seams with family and food! So, aside from helping my grandmother to pack some of her things for the move, I also tried to document some of the special places in the house (I included just a few here).

My grandfather's horseshoe nailed to the shed in the backyard for luck,

the little brick walkway to the front of the house,

the sunny living room windows and family portraits,

the copper kettles in the kitchen,

the pretty glass doorknobs,

the spots where the house is starting to show its age,

even the cobwebs in the cellar.