Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Home-Grown Suri Yarn!

I have been so excited since last Saturday, the day I picked up 319 skeins of our own home-grown Shady Grove Alpacas Suri alpaca yarn (and 9 felt sheets and several bumps of rug yarn) from the mill which processed it! 

I eagerly searched for a pattern, and settled on the Wheaten cap from The pattern matched up with the sport weight yarn I wanted to use, and presented both lace and cables to see what the yarn is capable of. This yarn is from our late alpaca, The Eleven, whose fleece was the darkest shade of brown in our herd.

This is the first time that I've ever used Suri alpaca, and it is quite different than any other yarn I've ever tried. It feels a little stiff and inflexible due to the fact that it has negligible loft, but is softening  beautifully as I work with it. Now that I finished the first repeat, I think I might wash it and see how it reacts to washing before continuing.

Stay tuned on more info about our yarn. We're in the process of setting up a business plan, etsy shop, and inputting all the yarns into Not to mention, I want to provide knitting info on Suri yarn, so I'm knitting up a bunch of samples to see how it all reacts. Who knew that selling yarn would take so much prep work?! 

Check out the rest of this week's fiber fun at Ginny's here:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Done by THIS Monday!

The Farmer and I always joke about the pattern book this blanket is from: Done by Monday. Supposedly the knitter can cast on Friday night and have a blanket by the time the weekend is over.

The pattern requires 10 balls of yarn (held double), but that is still a lot of knitting. So we always say "done by some Monday." And THIS is the Monday it is finished!

I used 11 skeins of hand spun yarn from a friend of my mother's. The fleece was from a Romney sheep named Rachel. Project started September 19, blocking completed today.

Unfortunately the washing did not completely obliterate the moth ball smell, so I put it outside for a few hours to air out. It was a beautiful winter day, complete with snow and gray skies. 

Tomorrow the blanket will leave for a new home at my friend Lauren's house to celebrate her wedding to a fantastic man. Congrats, and best wishes for a warm and happy marriage!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Blankie Fancies a Bath

I put an end to knitting my mindless blanket, and it struck my as hilarious to see it floating around in the tub. I just finished listening to the section in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where Harry finds a clue in the golden egg by taking it into the tub with him.

Really, I don't blame the blanket for wanting a warm immersion in this frigid sub-zero time of year. I'll post a dry and blocked picture when it is ready for gifting in a few days.

In the mean time, let's remember Memorial Day 2015 and this fluffy mass of fleeces en route to a fiber mill....

A sneak peak, my friends! I picked it up at the mill today. I will be unveiling the full glory of Shady Grove Suri Alpaca yarn in a few days time. But, wow, did it ever turn out nice!

I'm off to knit swatches, price the skeins, and make a business plan! Yikes, overwhelming! See you soon for the update!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Quest for Mitts

Last year I had a crazy daydream that I would knit and wear some finger-less mitts before winter had passed. It seemed like every other blog post yearned for them.

Last weekend I finally finished a pair that I wanted to give my mother for Christmas. Quest for mitts becomes a success! Ravelry link here.

Yarn: The Alpaca Yarn Co, Classic Lite
I can't wait to knit up another pair in our home-grown yarn in a few weeks! Only a short while left to wait before our first batch of yarn comes back from the mill!

It's almost too warm for any sort of knits this winter. Temperatures expected in the 50's this week.

But that warmer weather is great for putting our new set of chickens outside for an inaugural trial of outdoor living. As you can see, they still have a few things to figure out. There are 75 square feet in which to run around in, yet they choose to lay all over each other in the tiniest corner.

Finally, a little pig update. Couldn't resist making a purple one in honor of my favorite restaurant. Yum!

The three dark pink ones went to live with my work siblings as late Christmas gifts. A few jars of homemade gooseberry jam accompanied them to their new homes.

Finally, "reading" some Harry Potter on CD these days. I'm almost through book three already. What are you crafting and reading? Join the fun at Ginny's for more fun posts and ideas!