I finally finished my 3rd Strigose Shawl and totally love it.
I have been knitting lately even if I haven’t really been up on posting. I just finished this the other day and I wish I could keep it. Unfortunately for me it’s my dad’s sweater and will be mailed off to him soon. I like it so much I’m going to make a pattern for it.
Specs: 3 skeins Cascade Eco Wool
The ribbing makes it stretchy so one size fits lots of bodies.
The shawl collar is nuts and I love it. It’s almost big enough to be a hood and is super cozy!
Honestly, I haven’t really had time to keep up with what’s been going on. Things have been changing at such a rapid pace I can’t even begin to explain it. There are super new exciting things on the horizon I can’t wait to talk about, and of course, there are goats…there are always goats. So instead of endless words – I’ll get to those later – here are some pictures and we’ll get caught up on all the other stuff soon.
We had a surprise nest of chicks hatch.
There has been cuddly goats…
I spun a bunch of yarn….
We had a ton of plums I turned into jam…
I knit the magnamity cardi which I love.
These pockets are amazing!
And then there is this…which is super duper exciting. I’ll post full pictures asap and the full story but right now…just a hint of what’s to come.
The Rough Sea Wrap is now live! I’m pretty pleased with houw it turned out. I had such amazing testers who picked apart everything to make it easy to knit and a pleasure to follow.
I’ve been working with testers on my Rough Sea Wrap and it’s turning out amazing. They have been so amazing at getting it a perfect pattern. While they are knitting their fingers off I have been working on getting other things ready to test. Things like a sweater I’ve been sitting on for a LONG time.
This has got to be one of my favorite ever sweaters. It’s so cozy and light and frankly…perfect. It’s knit in a fingering weight alpaca so it’s light and warm but just perfectly so. A heavy sweater is a hard thing to wear all the time and this is really just the thing you want to put on and wear all the time.
The collar is what really makes this sweater fabulous and though it’s a lot of stitches and a lot of knitting it’s totally worth every inch.
The body is knit in reverse stockinette which creates a wonderful texture that’s just a little bit different. I expect this sweater will be ready for testers by the end of next weekend. I’ve really gotten a better flow for sweater patterns going that involves more of a spread sheet feel for stitch/ row counts so that it’s clean, easy to read, and easier to knit.
Dudes, I am way behind and have been a terrible blogger. Things have been going on and frankly, I’m pooped most days. About a month ago we had our sheep shorn. After a week of really hot weather we had a great young guy come in and shave out sheep so they’d be cool and comfortable.
Herman (our big ram) was first and I’m pretty sure that this is probably the first time he’s ever been shorn. He’s just over a year and his fleece was matted and gross to we just tossed it. Next year though we’ll have wonderful cinnamon fleece off this big fella.
Herman is by far the most chill sheep on the face of the earth. The Mr and I sometimes joke that he must be half goat because he enjoys our attention, comes up to get his chin scratched and will let you do just about anything you want to him. For a ram (and a primitive more wild breed) it’s pretty amazing not to have any of the craziness our ewes have or to have to watch your back all the time with him. Don’t get me wrong, we still keep a good set of eyes on him because he is a ram after all, but when he comes running up we are 99.9% sure it’s just to say hello. This will all change when the girls are back in season and he gets a bit more manly but for now he’s just as sweet as any goat we have.
Our shearer was amazing and fast. I am used to being along at my friend’s shearings and frankly…nothing could be more exhausting. My good friends Tom & Mette have 70 some icelandic sheep and just as many (if not more) alpacas and llamas. It is more than a one day event. Shearing an alpaca is not at all like shearing a sheep. It’s longer, it’s more physical, and it involves a tilt squeeze.
In all, the sheep were done in less than an hour and bald as the day they were born. They look so silly but at least now they are cool and we have that behind us.
We also had a surprise last weekend. One of our ewes who wasn’t supposed to be bred gave us a ram lamb. I know exactly when this happened because I was there. Herman broke our gate while I was feeding, jumped on this ewe and her sister once before I could get him back where he was supposed to be again. Apparently once was enough because Coco gave us a pretty little black lamb. He’s small but healthy and bouncy. I have no doubt that in another month he’ll be caught up with the other three lambs. Beefcake (pictured above) is huge. His mama gave us a beefy lamb last year too and I think this is her specialty. The other ram lamb (sausage) is an egg on legs. He isn’t getting tall but he is getting super wide. It’s a little ridiculous honestly. Ethel, our little girl is pretty and just as big as the boys. Not bad for two first time mama’s.
This is a photo of little Stew about an hour after he was born and discovered in the field. Coco never even looked pregnant but she’s been a pretty wonderful mom so far.
Sausage shows you how wide he is.
Herman really is a wonderful ram. He puts up with just about anything, even chicken rides.
My strigose cowl is now available! I can’t tell you how beautiful the tests turned out! I’ll just show you!
They turned out so amazingly! Also, I have a new design fresh off the blocking wires!
I have not been blogging so much these past three weeks which I apologize for. I’ve been crazy busy with work and the farm and all sorts of OTHER stuff. I have lots of pictures (goat pictures) to share this weekend and maybe even some news that I’ve been sitting on for a while.
See, things went down about a month ago that I wasn’t really willing or ready to talk about. Life changing news (and not the OMG THIS IS SO AWESOME! kind either). I took some time to look inward and harden my shell a little bit. I’m an odd mix of completely extroverted guarded person. I am free about my happiness and addresses, my embarrassing mistakes, my failures, and triumphs but this was beyond those things. This needed some time to just be and for the Mr and I to recover. It was a sort of phoenix moment and I finally feel as if the wind has picked up and started to blow away the ash of the old and what lays ahead of us, our rebirth, is exciting, terrifying, and brilliant. I know I am the luckiest woman in the world to have such an amazing family, such fantastic friends, the worlds best husband, two dogs that make me laugh and snuggle me when I need it, and a wonderful base of blog readers who don’t know me but leave such fantastically supportive comments.
I love you all.
My latest design is almost out of test knitting and I’m just so in love with it!
I apologize for the radio silence this past week. Frankly, work has been amazing and even more so, bag sales threw me for a loop. I didn’t expect the popularity of them. I kinda sold out like 4 times. I’m sending out the final orders this weekend and then will be restocking the shop. Things are just crazy right now and I have 12oo pictures of the farm to go through and post. I’ll be more exciting this weekend I promise. For now though, you can look at Willknit4borscht’s amazing version of my Strigose Cowl.
So there are things you learn when you have farm animals. Things that should be intuitive and obvious and really not.
1. You will get over any fear you ever had of poop.
This means you will not even think about poop in your daily life, you will just assume that you have some form of it on you and it’s not a big deal. It’s in your boots, it’s on your jeans, it’s probably under your nails (yeah a few of you just were grossed out) and it’s most definitely on your shirt. That mud your stepping in? Probably mostly poop. Maybe some pee for good measure. It’s just not a big thing after a while and you wash your jeans on Hot in the washer. You also don’t touch your face with your hands, you learn to use your sleeve or shoulder to scratch that itch.
2. Hay gets everywhere.
It’s ridiculous, this stuff is better than velcro. I started wearing overalls the other day (I know, totally not sexy at all) after my pants had fallen down around my knees for the umpteenth time (no belts don’t work for me because I have no actual hips to speak of) and you know what? I gave in. I decided I just didn’t want to deal with pulling up my jeans when I was feeding or running after the animals. I’ve had these overalls ready for almost 6 months and I figured, it’s almost gardening season, what better time to not worry about your pants falling down when your bent over your veggies? So I wore them and they are super handy. They are men’s overalls which meant some tailoring and I have a huge superfluous zipper in front, and I might not be able to wait till the last-minute when I have to pee, but other than that I dig em for around the barn. What I don’t dig? The moment I found that I had a bit of hay in my underwear. Yeah, that was probably too much information but it just goes to show hay gets EVERYWHERE.
3. You will have things that you can’t throw away but can’t recycle either.
Such as bailing twine (which is not twine but plastic) and feed bags. I think they have a recycle program for the feed bags at the farm store but I’m not sure how much of those bags are actually recycled. They are pretty heavy-duty poly plastic so maybe it works out perfect but I’m somehow a little doubtful of the process. It’s like when you find out that all that glass your recycling isn’t good enough to be recycled so it’s crushed and sent to the dump. Yeah, that makes me upset more than just about anything.
SO! I went on a soul-searching journey (for like 2 seconds) and wondered what I could do with my copious empty feed sacks. Then it hit me….I could repurpose them!
I bring to you the Feed Sack Grocery Bag! My bags are thoughtfully constructed so that they are sturdy, easy to carry, just the right size (have you ever seen those stupid too small grocery bags that won’t carry a gallon of milk?! DUMB!) and they are recycled from my very own feed bags. I have sewn them up in a way that they fold completely flat for easy storage and also? They can hold 40LBS of groceries without even a whimper.
Here my lovely assistant demonstrates how the bag isn’t even phased in the lease when it’s holding 20lbs of milk jugs filled with water. I tested it for a greater weight but seriously, who’s shoving 40lbs of groceries into one bag? I know I could easily lift it but I know a lot of other women who can’t. So I think 20lbs is a good weight for the average grocery goer.
Seeming was really important to me. I wanted to make sure that they would hold up and look nice. The feed sacks already have natural box seems so I emphasized those on the sides after I’d cut out and sewn up the bottom. They stand nicely on their own whether filled or empty.
Here it is on my composter which wasn’t the best stage I thought at first, but then, it is a recycled bag on a composter. It kinda goes right?
We are not limited to only chicken feed either! I have goat bags, turkey bags, and general livestock bags. There is something different about the texture of the goat bags. Maybe they are more highly recycled than the other two? They are a little more cloth like than the chicken crumbles.
If you would like your very own bag I have put some up for sale on my etsy shop. They are $3.50 a piece and all proceeds will be dumped back into the animals themselves