Winter has finally arrived to our little cove and driven me inside for the yearly hibernation. We aren’t expecting a day over forty degrees until March or night above freezing until April. I don’t know how our northernmost neighbors cope, but around her we snuggle in and wait.
Oh, I’ll still be out to see my sheep, love on hens, and train my riding steer, do chores and what not, but the days spinning on the porch or knitting under the pear tree over over until late spring. I’m so looking forward to getting some serious knitting accomplished and starting the winter spinning campaign before next year’s shearing in May. So without further Adu here’s this week’s Saturday’s Sassy Stitch and Spin!
ON THE WHEEL
This week’s spinning Project is to finish up the Jacob ewe fleece from last week. There’s less than a pound to go. This particular ewe belongs to my neighbor at Spring Rock. She had a skin issue, and I snagged a free fleece on shearing day. I did have to heavily skirt this fleece, but I am pleased with the over all results. The fleece was divided into two portions: dark and light. The sheep is freckled, which means there are black specks throughout the cream wool. This creates a lovely heathered oatmeal yarn. I was thinking about using all of this fleece as warp, but I think part of the yarn will end up in my new socks!
I decided to card this particular fleece on my curves hand carders. The fleece is short, and even after sending it through my Little Dynamo picker it was a bit “farmish”. I found carding sorted out the majority of residual rubbish. The singles are a traditional long draw, and the final yarn is a fingerling Navajo three ply.
The black wool from this sheep is brown headed into lilac. It’s not a true lilac, yet. I think the color is lovely, and I’ll continue with the same spinning style and weight for the entire fleece.
My next spinning Project for this week is to finish up this gorgeous lilac Jacob fleece from Jackie. Jackie, a ewe, died several years ago and I’ve been putting off spinning her fleece. The white section of wool is already sitting by the loom waiting for me to finish up the warp. But the lilac, well, that’s going into something special: my current shawl project. It’s surprisingly soft, but then again she was still fairly young. I’ll be using her wool in my current knitting project.
ON THE NEEDLES
It’s been a while since I took on a lace shawl. I found the Sacre Coeur shawl pattern on Ralvery and knew it was perfect for my next shawl project.
There are three patterns in the shawl so I decided to use three different yarns, all handspun, of course. The first is some Shetland I traded Romney for. It’s a beautiful moorit. It’s spun dk weight on a drop spindle. The Arch Lace section is some of Charlemagne Bolivar’s second fleece. It was spun on my antique wheel, Abigail, from homemade combed roving produced on my Indigo Hound hand combs. I used copper, spinach, carrot tops, some holly hocks, and coffee in an iron pot and lots of patience to concoct this color of green. I don’t think it’s a repeatable colorway.
The next section of lace will be Jackie’s lilac wool that I’m currently spinning. I am keeping a bit of it for my next color work project, but her lilac is a perfect color. I’m still debating to put on beads or not. But that’s a decision for another day.
This week I started and finished my new sweater vest! I was in the mood to make something chunky and quick. I chose to use some texel i had just laying around. The pattern is the Shawl Collar Vest on Ralvery. It’s also a free pattern. I did make the shoulder portion longer than instructed, but my shoulders and arms are pretty stout for my frame. Lifting hay bales will do that. I didn’t have enough yarn to make it as big as I’d like, but honestly, I’m very pleased. I do plan to use this pattern again, and make a few as gifts. It’s quick, easy, and the sizing is flexible. If you’re looking for an easy and satisfying sweater pattern, this is it.
Also completed this week is my new scarf. It’s just a simple lace border with plain garter stitch. It’s made from the very first fleece i ever processed. Interesting enough, this ram also ended up as the foundation ram for most of my flock. This scarf is part of a fleece study that will take several years to complete, and you will be hearing about my study periodically. But in the meantime, I’m enjoying my scarf!
That’s it for this week’s Spinning and Knitting. Don’t forget to check out our brand new podcast on YouTube that airs today and feel free to leave your current projects in the comments below! See you next week.
In all you do, craft no harm
Moriah and the flock