Hail fell today!

First time I have ever been able to photograph this phenomenon. That is me on the video saying ow as I got hit by ice getting the video!

We both have steel roofs so the noise was pretty extreme.

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Many More Cowls

I finished my comparison hemp cowls! I made both the 6ply hemp cowl (posted earlier to this one) and just finished a 3ply hemp cowl in the same dimensions, pattern and needles.

Here they are side by side.

Close ups of the 3 ply version. It is light and airy.

The 6 ply cowl weighs 137.5 grams. The 3 ply cowl weighs 58.6 grams.

Today I hauled out my blue mannequin! This is the 6 ply cowl.

Doubled up, which will likely result in a longer and heavier pattern after I wash and block this sample. Plenty of room to make a 150 gram cowl I think.

And the 3 ply cowl.

This is the mercerized cotton fingering scarf.

The white DK cotton.

I also made a tightly woven cowl from the same yarn, on 4 mm needles.

I really like lace the best. Earlier in the year though, I was trying out a host of thick cotton yarns with a book cable pattern (that I have begun demonstrating in a post a few back).

These were made on needles from 7 to 10 mm. Cotton.

Wool –  handpainted in BC by Riverstone Yarns.

And a version in 6 plies of silk.

And finally, I experimented with making a shrug in cotton.


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Working On Some New Patterns

I have been making a lot of cowls lately! I was working with a thick cotton yarn, but could not find enough to sell. So I took my cowl ideas and adapted them to yarns I have available in stock! I am working on making very lacy pieces. These work very well in hemp, as the fabric has loads of room to soften up as it wears in. Some of my hand towels are very dense and while they absorb plenty of water, people don’t always like the feel (or hand) of the yarn when contemplating making an item that will sit against the skin. I am making these cowls to show off how amazing hemp can feel as a garment! And also linen, cotton, and silk. Lets see how these non stretchy yarns do!

This first cowl is from a worsted hemp yarn on 9mm needles.

This cowl is a DK cotton yarn. My first attempt at loose lace. I used a yarn over to make the “holes”. I also did the pattering as stockinette then garter then stockinette. Lastly I read the pattern backwards from top to bottom, accidentally. I love the colour and cowl size, but not the “fabric” result from this yarn.

I moved on to my favorite hemp yarn – 6 ply natural. Changed up the pattern to garter stockinette garter and made the pattern the right way from bottom to top. I also changed up the make one part of the pattern using a twist rather than yarn over. I love the result! Waiting on a second pattern to decide if the sizing works (someone asked me about doubling up the cowl around their neck. Will know better once this baby is washed.

Made a shorter version of the same cowl in a fingering cotton yarn. Still in love with how the “fabric” turns out.

The most current version is in 3 ply natural hemp. I like the feel of the yarn even before washing on this one. Another few days and I will have a direct comparison between the 6 ply and 3 ply hemp versions.

Next I will try out a silk version (double yarn and single) then a worsted hemp version in hand dyed colours!

This pattern is only available in chart format at present. If you would like to try this pattern out (I could use other testers than myself), please email me at farmablefibres@gmail.com. I will send along yarn and the pattern in exchange for your sample item and comments on the pattern. I would like to keep samples for the 2015 show season, after which the product would be returned to you.

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Slender Stockinette Vest

I made another vest, this one more slender in design. Next vest I will play around with the back piece. I want it to flow more….

I switched back to making cowls, to test out a yarn for friend. I tried a lace pattern switching away from the cables I’ve been working on. Its a nice change, but a bit hard to see the pattern clearly. Can’t wait to get this one off the needles.

This vest is made from farmablefibres mercerized cotton fingering yarn, on 8mm needles. It weighs 39 gms.

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Minimalist Circle Vests

I have run into some difficulty getting the math to work in the pattern I was trying to follow. I was waiting to talk to friends this weekend about the issue, and found out I’m not alone. I have turned my attention to making a knitted version of a circle shawl. Which in my case has ended up being a circle vest.  I finished another one with slightly different dimensions than the first. I also switched to a fingering cotton yarn, which I will have in my booth this year. Another cotton one to go with a solid colour, then I will experiment a bit with hemp yarns, then silk.

This is a chunky cotton I am trying to secure a supply of, not yet available this year. My more fashion attempt.

This is a fingering weight cotton I have this year. My practical attempt. Which also works much nicer for this time of year as well. Made from 51 grams of cotton, a bit more than 200 yards.

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Life is Variable

Working full time at a 9-2-5 and working full time on the yarn business is not. Working. Mostly its too much work.

This past weekend I taught advanced spinners for the first time at the Ontario Handspinning Seminar. I was super nervous, but it was AMAZING! My classes were small, something I was very grateful for. It let me have loads of interaction with everyone in the class. We learned from each other and I got to show people my love for bast,

I have an admin contract until the end of Dec and 3 more yarn shows to go. I might make it. Doing anything yarn outside of the shows is completely out, I’m changing the sales part of the site tonight. And of course 2 big things in my life is not enough. Its nice to finally have weekends to devote to fixing up the farmhouse (until late August). I would like to get it set up as soon as possible as an artist retreat! Small to start (~4 people) and eventually a weekend retreat for small groups (~11) . I can’t really set up my house for a dyeing weekend this year, but thankfully the farm is almost ready. Certainly ready for a day time event this year. The brave can come see if they would be willing to spend a night!!

I look forward to seeing everyone in the fall at the Twist Festival, the KW Knitter’s Fair or the Woodstock Fleece Festival,

PS – I am negotiating for a second hand Spring loom and will have to sell my Ashford table loom to facilitate the purchase. I will post an ad on the Warped Weavers board on Rav pretty soon (as soon as the warp is off the loom!).

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Frolic-ing and a CKAL

Last weekend was the Knitters Frolic in Toronto. Thank you to everyone who came by the booth, it was a pleasure to talk to you and exchange ideas!

Here is the list of patterns I had display items for at the show (and where you can find them):

The Amiga Cardigan in silk from Knitty

The Alcina pattern in lace cotton from Rowan

The Spring Lace top in 3ply/fingering hemp (paper copy purchase) from LanaKnits Designs

The Spring Lace top in 3ply/fingering hemp (PDF copy purchase) from Patternfish

Still to come: 6ply hemp sweater pattern details

CKAL – Cowl Knit A Long

Many people asked me about the cable pattern I have used for my cowls this year, it comes from this book.

I don’t like to use cable needles so much, I mostly drop the needle out of the stitch anyways. I am not going to be using the terms from the book, I just find it better to look at which way my cable stitch is leaning. I will be describing/illustrating how I adapted the pattern to work in the round.

This pattern works in a multiple of six. My project is 90 stitches cast on to 8mm needles. This size works great for taking pictures that you can easily see the stitches in.

Cast on your own project using the yarn and needle size of your choice. A cowl for an adult can be around 24 inches around to easily fit over the head. Bigger can be better, depending on your style. I like the 24 inch around size because it fits easily enough under my jacket, where I prefer to wear my cowl.

Step 1: Cast on your project in a multiple of 6 and mark the end.

Step 2: Join in the round insuring there are no twists.

Step 3: The first row establishes the patterning for the cowl. It is worked Knit 2 (K2), Purl 4 (P4) until the last 2 stitches before the marker.

Step 4: Bring your yarn to the back of your project so you are ready to knit stitches.

Step 5: For the cable row we no longer focus on 2 and 4 stitches. On the cable row we are always dealing with stitches in groups of 3 stitches that we manipulate, either to lean right or to lean left. The cable stitches alternate the entire length of the row and you always end with the opposite lean than the one at the start of the row. The cables rows mirror each other in the flow of the pattern.

I cheat the pattern row in the round, because it is the choice of two outcomes that I prefer. Either you can cheat the stitches, or you make your cable lean after finishing the row. I find the second choice makes the stitches

For the first cable row, the first cable stitch leans to the right. To make the cable, two purl stitches will be crossed by the knit stitch (leaning to the right) so that it is knit into first.

When the stitches are all back to the left needle, knit, purl, purl.

Working on the next 3 stitches, the knit stitch is first and this time we want it to lean to the left. I pull off the knit stitch, transfer the 2 purl stitches to the right needle. drag the knit stitch to the left to sit on the left needle and trhen transfer back the 2 purl stitches. Then I purl, purl, knit.

Repeat the cable row leans for the rest of row in the round.

Stopping here for now. But posting the rest of the pictures. I must get ready for the next show! Eats into my online time…


















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