Summer is here and lots of time is spent keeping the animals cool. I am working on some weaving samples and will be posting my latest draft soon. In the mean time, I found this GREAT video to share!! 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
I am posting a great video by British Wool to share. Hope you have a great New Year!
The British Wool Story
Fall is over and winter is coming fast! We had a frost the other day and it was a reality check that winter is just around the corner. I do have a few white Wensleydale ewes available and one black wether. The ewes range from 91%-98%. All of the sheep have wonderful fleeces! Here are some photos of the fleeces just recently sheared from these sheep.
The fall sale is coming soon at the Weaver’s Guild of Cincinnati.
Fiber Arts Sale 2017
Friday, Nov. 10th: 4pm – 8pm
Saturday, Nov. 11th: 10am – 4pm
Sunday, Nov. 12th: Noon – 4pm
“Experience the Luxury of Handmade
Original Works by Weavers Guild Artisans”
I will have handspun, farm wool batts, and artisan knits available in the sale.
Yes, that is a rotting pumpkin in the photo below. That may prove fall is over!
Summer is here! I have added some new wools to the shop with more to come.
We always have Killdeer nesting in the gravel along the driveway. They are so small, but are up and running around soon after hatching.
We have had so much rain that the riding arena has grass growing in it! The horses are working hard to mow it.
In my “spare” time, between working with the sheep, riding, dyeing, weaving, and spinning, I have been knitting up bunches of swatches for items I will have in the Cincinnati Weaver’s Guild sale in November. With summer here, it seems as though November is far off, but it will be here in no time and so will winter. So enjoy summer while you can!
I am selling some of my Wensleydale sheep in order to make room for some new genetics. These are all high percentage Wensleydales with many being by UK rams. I have white, silver, and grey Wensleydales. Located in SW Ohio. For more information message me via my contact page.
HELLO SPRING? Well, it may be a bit early, but the forecast says 60 degree weather for the next few days!
A few months ago, I dropped off some Cormo fleece at America’s Natural Fiberworks (ANF) in Sommerville, Ohio. They always do a great job processing fibers and spinning yarns. Cormo wool is usually carded and then pin drafted to remove the neps/noils/short bits of fiber. There are only a couple of mills in the US that have the equipment to pin draft wool. I have always had my Cormo pin drafted but I decided to see how it would turn out if it was carded into roving. AFN have their own flock of Cormo sheep and are experienced with processing Cormo. I recently picked up the finished Cormo roving and it turned out really nice. The roving spins up into a more rustic type yarn (not smooth and fine) with lots of character. I really love the spun yarn. I hope to get the roving listed in my shop in the next week or so.
I took a few photos of the mill when I picked up the roving. The mill also has a yarn shop stocked with lots of natural fiber (wool and alpaca) yarns, rovings, and accessories. They also sell handwoven rugs and felted saddle pads. There are lots of other items in the shop too. They have a website for the yarn shop at: www.ilovetheyarnbarn.com and also a website for their alpaca farm http://www.blessedcriations.com/
The photo below is the fiber washing machine. It is really nice! I wish I had one. 🙂
Photo below is the felting table they use to make large felted items and blankets.
Studio stuff?? I have a warp wound and waiting to be put on the Saori loom. It will be cloth for a jacket (eventually!)
The sheep are ready for spring shearing.