Fall Weather and Riding!

Lots of things need to be done around the farm before winter sets in… but one of the most important is making sure there are no cold feet!  I have been knitting wool blend socks on my circular sock machine.  These socks are a basic pattern with a ribbed top and short row heel.  Knit on my Erlbacher Gearhart circular sock machine with a 54 cylinder.

 

circular sock machine socks

 

circular sock machine

csm

Yes, there is more going on than just sock knitting.  The cooler weather means lots more trail riding!

paso fino

 

Fleeces and Lambing!

posted in: farm, sheep, Uncategorized | 0

The 2019 lambing is not too far off.  I have been checking pedigrees and deciding which ewes I will be breeding this fall.  If you are looking for fine wool Shetland lambs, I will have some available in the spring.

shetland wool fleece

Here are a few photos of the 2018 fleeces.  I will be listing 2019 fleeces on my website (not my Etsy).  More info to come about that around shearing time.

shetland fleece shetland fleece shetland fleece shetland fleece

 

Summer Blanket

The last thing you need in the summer is a blanket, right?  Well, this was a special little blanket I knit for my nephew.  Knit on Passap E6000 4 color double jacquard and designed with DesignaKnit (DAK) software.  I have had quite a few people ask me how to design something similar using DAK.  In DAK, I open a blank stitch pattern in Stitch Designer.  I resize the pattern to whatever size (stitches and rows) I am wanting to make.  I then make my design on the blank canvas or import elements via Graphic Studio (DAK).  I know it is said DAK is very hard to use.  If you print out the instruction manual and work out using the tools, it is possible to teach yourself how to use it.  It just takes time and practice.

passap e6000 machine knitting

 

I bought some bright lights for my AVL loom.  They are a long strip of LED lights.  The strip of lights is sticky one one side.  You stick them on and cut off the excess.  They have a dimming switch which is really nice for times I don’t need the lights to be extremely bright.  I took the photo below with all the room lights off except the loom lights.

 

It has been quite a hot summer which means getting up even earlier to ride.  This is Atarah, my Paso Fino mare.  She has only been on trails for the last couple of months (former show horse) and she is doing quite well.

paso fino

Fancy Pots

posted in: Knit, Machine Knit, Uncategorized | 0

OK, from reading the title of this post you may have been expecting something really amazing... but no...sorry to disappoint you...  LOL!  I found a pattern on Knit Picks website for flower pot cozies.  I didn't like their colorwork pattern but thought it would be a great way to knit swatches and have a use for them.  I knit my cozies on my Silver Reed 840 standard gauge and used Designaknit for the patterning.  In Designaknit, I opened a new pattern of 30 stitches and 100 rows.  For the fair isle designs--I imported a vertical border and centered it in the middle of the pattern. (edit/import/vertical border).  The purple cozy was just knit in a tuck stitch pattern (not centered).

 

The cozy pattern is simple:

Cast on 15-0-15.  I used fingering weight yarn.  (You can use thicker yarn, but knit fewer rows of patterning.)

Knit 7 rows.

Place eyelets approximately every 4th stitch or so.

Knit 4 rows.

Set your machine up for patterning (fair isle, tuck, slip whatever you decide) and knit 100 rows.  (This is what I used for the small and medium terra cotta pots--adjust as needed for your pots.)

Knit 7 rows of stockinette.

Place eyelets approximately every 4th stitch or so.

Knit 4 rows.

Cast off.

Finish with heavy steam.  (I knit with wool yarn.)

Wrap cozy around pot and lace heavy cotton yarn through the eyelets (like lacing a shoe).  Adjust to fit pot.

 

 

Shearing Day

posted in: sheep, Spinning Fiber | 0

Summer weather seems to have finally arrived.  I sheared all the sheep and have been working through skirting all of the fleeces.  Many of the Shetland fleeces have really nice color variations throughout the fleece.  If you are looking for color, we will have lots of colorful fine wool Shetland lambs available next year and a few white lambs also.

 

 

 

The Elusive Long Stitch Half Milano Edge

posted in: Machine Knit, Uncategorized | 0

half milano machine knitting

I knit the samples above a few months ago.  I couldn’t decide whether to write up a tutorial or not….  I rarely post tutorials on my blog.  I have always been inspired by my friend Carol’s blog.  She has a wonderful blog for Passap knitters with lots of tips and tutorials.  I thought maybe I should take some time to share a little bit on my blog too…

The photo above shows some samples I had knit a while back on my Passap E6000 (grey sample) and Silver Reed SK840 (mustard colored sample).  I knit lots of scarves which are mostly all knit on the double bed.  I don’t like how the edges of single bed scarves roll.

Over the winter, I thought I would be nice to have a single bed fabric for a scarf because it would be a lighter fabric.  There is the edge roll issue with single bed fabric.  But what if I could rib the edges?….  I have a couple of double bed books which reference the long stitch (also called half Milano) technique but most instances are as a backing.  I found a blog that showed the long stitch edge with stockinette in the middle.  I did not want plain stockinette for the center knitting but a tuck stitch or slip stitch design.  Since tuck stitch seems to curl a bit, the edges will be tamed with the long stitch edge.  Once I started knitting these samples, I realized there are many possibilities for the center design…

You can follow the directions in the blog I linked if you need detailed set up directions.  Basically, you are just casting on in full needle rib.  After the ribber circular rows, knit as much “end” border as you want.  Then transfer the middle stitches (which will be your patterned knitting) to your main bed.  (Main bed is: back bed Japanese, front bed Passap).  Leave as many stitches on the ribber as you want for the long stitch edge.  Passap use black strippers.

In the photo below (ignore the dark spots caused from my iron during steaming!), the sample shows an edge with 3 stitches and 4 stitches.  The scissors in the photo on the right show the line between the 3 stitch edge and 4 stitch.

I made a basic pattern in Designaknit (DAK) for my SK840 and Passap E6000.  I used a built in tuck pattern from DAK.  Remember to leave plain rows in your stitch pattern for the ribbed edges.  I have found that 5 stitches works good for a basic scarf.  The photo below shows 3 plain stitches on the side for the SK840.  For the E6000 you make your stitch pattern in plain black and white squares (no symbols), leave your edges stitches plain for however many stitches you want on the edge. When using the Passap and DAK you must “lie” to DAK.  On the DAK download screen, you have to enter a double bed jacquard technique (example 183).  Click download.  Once it is downloaded to the machine, you will enter your technique you will really be using.  I used T130.

When knitting on the E6000 remember you will have to slip one direction on the back bed.  You only want the back bed to knit every other row.  I messed around with different lock settings and I think there is a lot more to discover with this.  I used CX on the back lock.  I am going to knit up some scarves and try some other locks settings and see what happens.  😉

I saw a  wrap on Purl Soho which I believe is this same technique.  So you can knit narrow or wide fabric with this long stitch border.

 

 

Happy Scarves

flat rib scarf

These are flat rib scarves knit in bright “happy” colors. The flat rib can be knit on any knitting machine with a ribber (double bed).  Set your machine up for full needle rib (all needles in work on main bed and rib bed).  Needles are alternating–not directly across from each other.  Knit your cast on (zig zag, hang comb, knit circular rows).  After the cast on is complete, you will transfer some ribber stitches to the main bed and put those ribber needles out of work.  All main bed needles remain in work.  On these scarves I had 4 needles out of work (or was it 5?) on the ribber and then one needle in work.  Repeat this pattern across the entire ribber bed.  I had 2 ribber needles in work on the edges of the bed.  Once you have this set up, knit across slowly with the carriage/lock or knit across by hand. Knit across by hand by doing a “free pass of the carriage/lock, then knit the yarn into the latches and knit off– by hand.  This row will be hard to knit because of the doubled up stitches.  Knit scarf to length desired and bind off.  This pattern knits lays flat (edges do not roll).  It is a great pattern for using up stash and “gifting.”

Remember when knitting in full needle rib, you will need to use lighter weight yarns than what you would use for single bed or 1×1/2×2 rib etc.

The scarves photographed were knit on a 9mm bulky machine in worsted weight yarn.

Farm Fresh Yarns

posted in: Online Shop, yarn | 0

I sent Cormo and Wensleydale fleeces to the mill to be spun into yarn.  The yarn is now here and it is listed in the shop.  The Cormo yarn is 2 ply worsted weight with yardage per skein approximately 150 Yards +/-.  Cormo is a fine wool and is next-to-skin soft. This is a naturally bright white wool.  The Wensleydale yarn is single ply Lopi style spun yarn in bulky weight.
Skeins are approximately 90 Yards +/- and they are big 5 ounce skeins +/-.  Both wools take dye very well. 

Cormo 2 ply shown with penny for size comparision
Wensleydale single ply yarn shown with penny for size comparison.

I am attaching a video (below) featuring Mati Ventrillon of Fair Isle, Scotland.  It shows how she makes her highly sought-after Fair Isle sweaters according to traditions that are centuries old...

The Making of a Fair Isle Sweater…

Winter Update

posted in: farm, Uncategorized | 0

With the New Year just a couple of days away, I figured it was time for a blog update.  We have added a flock of fine wool Shetland sheep (several ewes in many colors and a couple of rams) to the farm and will have breeding stock and fleece available.

shetland sheep

I am posting a great video by British Wool to share.  Hope you have a great New Year!

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