Wooly Wednesday, even more yarn dyeing

So last week I gave the first half of the story! This week here is even more of the colourways I have been dyeing up ready for the yarn show!

There maybe more but I am at the point I can’t tell which I’ve uploaded and which I haven’t! 🤯

Sooooo these are getting released at Sweater Weather

Have you got your tickets!!!???!! I am super excited about meeting all sorts of knitting people!! Plus there are a few patterns going to be released for the show!!

If you want the heads up about any yarns left after the show going live for sale then head on over and sign up for the newsletter!! You can get priority notice on new releases yarny and patterns!! And occasionally the odd discount code!!

Smallholding Sunday

A little update on the holding! a little of what we have gotten up to this summer!

We have…. Giant courgettes, hoof trimming the sheep, honey harvesting, plum picking, a grape harvest, some beans and a new little chap hanging about more and more!

A Sunday dinner completely made and grown and raised by us, bottled rhubarb gin, the starts of a Holly run, an onion harvest and LOTS of berries.

All sorts of lovely stuff growing in the veg garden and Polytunnel!

We have baled, both big bales and hand baled small bales, we dropped the fleeces at the wool mill, made fire bricks from sawdust and paper…

And all this, as well as having summer adventures with the boys, dyeing yarn, forest school and so much more!!

Such a fab summer!!

Wooly Wednesday and LOTS of dyeing

So I have been very lucky and made it through the application process for the Farnham Maltings new autumn show – Sweater Weather

I have been working extremely hard dyeing up lots of yarns ready for the show!

These yarns aren’t available online yet as I just haven’t had time to sit and list them… but any left after Sweater Weather will be listed for sure!!

Which ones are your favourite??

Sheep Sunday – four more!!

A friend from a smallholding near to us here finally sold her property for a BIG move. She had to down size her animal collection. Most of her sheep went to market but a few, her pets, remained. She made the incredibly hard decision that she couldn’t take them with her. So we said that we would take them on! Initially three, but as Coal still had a lamb at foot we ended up with four!

Hairy legs

Coal, who was originally blackie but we thought she looked more like she had rolled in coal dust! Indie (if you ask the eldest she is actually called Indoraptor) and Lamb Chops a big chunky wether.

A wether is a boy sheep who has been neutered.

They arrived one cold evening in December 2020 while my friend was deep in the final throes of moving!

And they joined the flock with gusto! I think it helped that the three witches were some of the lambs from the flock from the previous year, and I think we reunited at least one mother and daughter!

They have upped our numbers of callable sheep, at first it was just Hairy Legs, but now Coal and Lamb Chops are readily available as long as a bucket is rattled!

Indie follows Coal every where so that makes her easier to catch too!!

All four of these are Llanwenog, which is fast proving my favourite yarn to work with!!

If you are interested in knitting with some of the yarn spun up from their beautiful fleeces then head over to our Etsy shop!

Sheepy Sunday

So after the 3 witches we acquired Wolfie!

She is a welsh white type sheep and was a bottle lamb that one of my neighbour’s wives acquired to raise.

We acquired her when she had transitioned into the neighbour’s garden and was spending more time munching flower beds and pooping on the front doorstep than cutting the grass! Particularly the pooping on the front door step!

We got her about Christmas time and popped her into the field with our guys and she looked at the other sheep as if to say what are these things…. and why why why are you leaving me with them! I think she would have followed us to the house and come in through the front door if she was allowed!

She is a lovely little sheep and is always at the gate after some sheep nuts and a fuss, as long as she has heard us coming. Once in a while we make it into the field before she spots us and then the little leaps and gambols she does are just adorable.

She has the most beautiful thick fleece too!!

Wolfie’s wool is blended into the Rustic ranges of wool we have in our Etsy shop here!

Sheepy Sunday

So we have done Wanda’s Story and Baarbara’s Story….

Here is the story of the three witches!!

Basically we swapped three sheep for some large bales of haylage the summer after we had Wanda and Babs!

Not a hugely exciting story, but we ended up with Garlick, Og and Weatherwax, which for the literary savvy among you will tell you I like reading the Terry Pratchett books!!

These three are all Llanwennog sheep and James cannot tell the difference between most of our Llanwennogs!

So in this picture we have Weatherwax, who is the biggest of the three up front to the left, Og in the middle front, she is easily recognisable as she tore out one of her tags early on and has a funny little left ear. Garlick is getting increasingly difficult to spot as she and a more recent acquisition are remarkably similar now the recent acquisition is growing up!! But she has a petite slim face and is the smaller of the three witches!

So our flock grew from 2 to 5! The hope was that these three would be relatively tame and join Wanda, but no they joined the suspicious Baarbara and hung round at the back, not coming close enough to hand feed but always within range of thrown nuts!!

They are hard to catch and a bit wild, but this has provided us with entertainment, in he form of Weatherwax diving under James when he was trying to catch her, her boosting him up and him effectively riding her as she ran round the pen! She was eventually caught, wormed and hooves trimmed!

If you want to find out more about Llanwennogs as a breed click here

Find their beautiful wool here for sale!

Sheepy Sunday!

So last Month I told you some of Wanda’s story….

Up this month is Baabara!

Baabara is a mule most likely, Welsh white… something along those lines! She is the white faced one in this picture and is the MOST suspicious sheep you will ever meet!!

When they come up for feed in the field, Baabara is always right at the back! She is the hardest to catch, utterly unmotivated by food and a talented escape artist like her friend Wanda!

I say friend, but the pair of them tolerate on another and that’s about it!! Baabara prefers to mix with a few of the Llanwenogs!

She was given to us by neighbour who had her as an odd one out in their flock of Lleyn sheep to keep Wanda company in our fields and it helped to keep Wanda from wandering!!

She has a beautiful full soft fleece and it makes for gorgeous yarn!!

You can try out some of her wares here!! All spun up locally here in West Wales and dyed by me!

Wooly Wednesday – hats

Since moving to the smallholding I wear a lot of hats, literally and metaphorically!! I have a few favourites…

My lattice hat, knitted up in a gorgeous sock weight alpaca yarn I bought on the Great London Yarn Crawl, my River Knits yarn hat, which is a gorgeous sock weight yarn and I knitted a super slouchy beanie hat in it!

More recently I have been knitting up hats for a few people around here and using double knit yarn!

This one is knitted in our hilltop blend and it is rarely off the farmers head at the moment!

I have also been finding the boy’s hat strewn about the place…. this one was found out by the stream in the last cold snap frozen solid!!

It has now been thawed and washed!!

I have a number of hat designs out and up for sale in the Etsy shop, on Ravelry and on Lovecrafts including this Queen Bee hat

And…. I am working on a heap more designs!! All inspired by the natural world around here in Wales!

Here are some sneaky peeks!!

What are your favourite or go to hat patterns??

I still have a Baable on my to knit list!! Knit my mum one but never got round to mine!! 🤦‍♀️

Learning to Knit

I often get a lot of comments as people see me knit out and about, or see the yarns, or my knitted socks….. “I wish I could knit”

Well the honest truth is it takes practice, but its actually quite easy!! and realistically if you can knit, purl and can google what the other terminology means then you can pretty much knit ANYTHING!! This thought is borne out in some of the FB groups for knitters I am in and seeing some of the amazing first projects people have put out!!

My first project, when I relearnt to knit in my 20’s was a blanket! Several million (well it felt like it towards the end) small knitted squares and then I taught myself to crochet to put them all together! This blanket now resides in the boys room on the rocking chair, has sat round my shoulders whilst I fed them in the small wee hours and might need the odd repair as they now haul it about over their heads to be ghosts etc.

I then knit a LOT of hats!!! At first seamed and then after discovering the local Stitch and Bitch group in Cardiff and support and enabling properties that came with, I moved onto in the round, graduated to socks, sweaters and shawls and never looked back!!

Then I started to dye and design my own patterns for things I couldn’t find quite what I wanted in the huge bank of patterns out there in the world.

So I guess I am saying….

I am going to launch a series of videos over on the YouTube Channel for learning how to knit….!!

Eek there I have said it!

I also plan to resurrect Maker’s Monday over on the Channel and do a monthly update of what I have been making, whether that be knitting, crochet, sewing, spinning or weaving, dyeing, designing etc! So feel free to hop on over subscribe and check out the videos I have made already over there!!

Woolly Wednesday – Socks

Lets talk socks!

Now I love sock weight yarns… I certainly dye up enough of them! and I love socks knitted out of them…. but I am finding with more limited knitting time these days with the two kids, a smallholding and a few businesses to sort that sock weight yarn socks just takes an age….. I have definitely been more in the mood for quick and easy finish projects.

More recently I have been using the DK yarns to make up socks! The Rustic ranges of DK both make up gorgeous socks and the Hilltop does too!

I have even designed a few patterns for DK weight socks!! You can find them here on Ravelry, or in my Etsy shop.

I have been knitting up some custom socks for a smallholder friend and her husband and have the second set of two pairs ready to go to her. The farmer whose fleeces became the Hilltop yarn blend has requested a pair of socks as well made up from the yarn from his sheep. He is currently living in the hat I knit him!

So…. I thought I would add in a plain set of DK socks as a free pattern… You can download the pattern here!! Hop on over and join the FB discussion I would love to see the socks you knit up!

I have also hit upon another idea!

I fancy a collaborative Knitalong!!

I thought a scarf, as this would allow newer knitters to join in the fun.

So I thought:

  • DK yarn
  • 2/3 colours
  • 4mm needles
  • Cast on 30 stitches

Then each week a person in the group is chosen to provide the patterning idea for the next week’s worth of knitting.

This could be a new stitch you have been itching to try, a bit of colour work or anything you fancy, as long as you keep to the stitch count!!

Hop over, join the FB group and add a comment to the thread with the image above, then go get your needles and yarn ready! I am thinking a February 28th start date??