Memoir

Woolly Projects Update, Including a Parade of Berets

I finally soaked and washed the third fleece out my beloved three sheep fleeces this week, and it’s currently drying on the rack in our living room.

This fleece is from a Cormo/Merino sheep named Willie, and it is definitely the fluffiest of the three. Check out the poof. I’m really looking forward to crafting and spinning with this one. 🙂

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It feels good to have all three fleeces washed and ready to go.

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted the latest on my ongoing knitting projects. Here’s a little summary of some recently finished projects. I’ve also included some projects finished at the beginning of the year with more recent pictures that I took while up at the farm last week.

  1. This one is the Cupido Cowl, pattern by Hiroko Fukatsu, which I knit in a beautiful thick-thin variegated Merino handspun by Handspun in Bolinas, purchased during the Sonoma yarn crawl last summer. A very artsy cowl. The textured pattern and yarn compliment each other beautifully. (Ravelry link for pattern)
  2. Next, a pair of mittens knit with Mosaic Moon Meadowsweet Worsted Rambouillet yarn (colorway: Vincent and The Doctor), an acquisition from Stitches West. The pattern is Handful of Berries by Jocelyn Tunney. (Ravelry link for pattern)
  3. Some new photos of my Dotted Rays shawl by Stephen West, which I’ve written about before, knit in Sincere Sheep’s naturally dyed Cormo yarn. So SOFT and SQUISHY.(Ravelry link)
  4. I sported my headkerchief version of Meghan Huber’s Maritana Shawl, mentioned in a previous post, during the Knit North Yarn Crawl in March. A nice alternative accessory to a hat during warmer days. (Ravelry link for pattern)
  5. For my variation on the Cabled Brim Beret by Katherine Hunt, published in Winter 2015 issue of Noro Magazine, I adjusted the pattern by casting on fewer stitches so that I was able to knit the hat with a bulky yarn called Maxi by Erika Knight. I really love the 1970s look of this beret with its mustard color and clusters of cable flowers along the brim.  (Ravelry link for pattern)
  6. Here is my version of the Painted Sky Beret by Nancy Nagle. I improvised a bit for the crown shaping, so it’s not exactly like the pattern. I knit the hat with two strands of gray Romney thick-thin handspun from Laban Sheep Farm, which I picked up at the swap table during FiberCamp in March. A very toasty winter hat. (Ravelry link for pattern)
  7. The Fisherman’s Wife Beret by Leah B. Thibault, was a quick, fun knit. The yarn is a bulky weight brown wool, which I also picked up at the FiberCamp swap table. I really like the open stitch texture of this one. (Ravelry link for pattern)
  8.  And my favorite: Rose Red Beret by Ysolda Teague. I probably could have gone down a needle size, because my version of the beret came out quite slouchy. I like it, though. It’s lightweight and relaxed. I knit it with a ball of teal Wensleydale DK weight yarn by Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Shop that Bethany brought back for me from London in March. I looove the color so much. This was my first ever top down hat. Gorgeous pattern and the Wensleydale yarn has great stitch definition to show it off. (Ravelry link for pattern)

Now, onto current projects!

I’ve been working away on the navy blue wedding shawl for Bethany. It’s coming along swimmingly. Two more charts to go, which is about 40 rows. Doesn’t sound like much, but 40 rows is a lot of knitting in this Hortense shawl pattern. To give you an idea, the stitch count on my current row is well over 400 and the final bind off row is close to 800. Whew.

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Now that I’ve knit a generous portion of the shawl, I have been very excited to finally see a lovely drape forming. I know it kinda just looks like a bunch of yarn ramen right now, but stretched out and blocked it’s going to look very elegant and lacey, I promise. (Ravelry link)

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I just cast on a second biggish project this week: a sweater for yours truly. The pattern is Cinnamon Girl, published in Juju’s Loops by Juju Vail and Susan Cropper (of Loop London) in 2012. This one’s been on my list to knit for a couple of years now. It’s a top down cardigan with a textured bodice, flared skirt, and a lace cable border at the yoke, front edges, and sleeve shoulders. It’s a nice project to switch to when I am not working on the Hortense shawl, because it’s a little more repetitive and doesn’t require quite as much concentration. (Ravelry link)

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Juju’s Loops by Juju Vail and Susan Cropper

My sweater will be more casual than the one in the book photo above, which was made with Juno, a Merino/Alpaca/Silk yarn with a lot of sheen and drape to it. The yarn I am choosing to substitute is Silk Road DK Tweed by Jo Sharp (85% wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere). I picked up a dozen balls of this yarn at a donation booth at the Lambtown fiber festival last year for a bargain. The color is called Festival, which is a lovely blend of lilac and lavender shades. I am hoping that the silk and cashmere in the yarn will allow the skirt of the sweater to drape well.

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The texture of the yarn feels substantial but still soft on the hands. I’ve read reviews saying that the yarn softens up even more after it’s been washed. Between that and the tweedyness of the yarn, this is going to be a super cozy sweater.

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Ain’t my origami star stitch markers cute? Wish I could say that I made these, but I actually picked them up from Jimmy Beans Wool when we were in Reno a couple of weekends ago. Surprisingly, they are a lot sturdier than they look. They’re made by the Sexy Knitter and are available on the JBW website. She’s also got a TON of other unique stitch markers at her Etsy shop.

Whew, that was a lot of updating, but we got through it. Thanks for hanging in there, folks. I really appreciate you reading. 🙂

Enjoy the weekend and happy crafting!

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