The Benefits of Wool – and it’s many uses

So wool has many uses other than as clothing!!!

Clothing as previously discussed in the first blog post of this title

Carpets

Blankets

Bedding, both blankets and duvets or Baavets (as one company call themselves!!)

Mulch or weed suppressant mats to put round plants. There is also the added benefit of moisture conservation!

Fertiliser. It takes a while to break down, but when you toss wool into the compost pile, it adds beneficial nutrients, including calcium and sodium. It’s about 9% nitrogen, 1% phosphate, and 2% potash, too

Pet wares, horse blankets, saddle cloths, pet beds…

Upholstery the stuffing for chairs etc and the fabrics to cover them

Insulation for homes. It has an excellent R value and also provides an acoustic buffer

Insulation in outer wear coats etc

Uniforms for firefighters as some types like merino have the right properties

Furniture and soft furnishings like cushions

Packing boxes for thermal packaging as an alternative to polystyrene

Bricks. Mixed with seaweed and added to bricks to improve durability and environmental impacts

Lanolin products, salves, balms for all sorts including one of the best for breast feeding mummas!! But lanolin can also be used in cosmetics, lubricants and adhesive tapes!

Cleaning products, especially for soaking up the spills due to its absorbency!

Pianos, woollen felt covers the hammers inside the piano!! It also makes acoustic insulation for machinery!!

Double Vanilla Socks

A free Pattern for double knit vanilla socks! A little present from me to you!

These knit up amazingly in both our Rustic with Alpaca and the Hilltop DK yarns! The Hilltop particularly is a fab hard wearing DK sock yarn which even manages to survive my husband’s hard wearing!

I hope you enjoy knitting these up. I LOVE how fast they trip off the needles!!

Hop on over to Facebook and share the finished socks on our group!!

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!!

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 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!!

Wooly Wednesday

This Wednesday I am going to look at a pattern or two from another source!

I am currently knitting up the fabulous Arboreal sweater by Jenn Steingass (this link is in Ravelry, I am afraid there are no other links I could find where she sells the patterns outside Ravelry)

I am knitting it up using our Rustic with alpaca base which is currently up in the Etsy shop. I am using the natural beautiful grey base colour, a small amount of cream from the Rustic range and the Gentian for the blue.

It is knit up from the top down and all the colourwork is in a yoke around the neck. Beautiful leafy patterns!

The yarn is knitting up beautifully, Roger at the mill puts a lovely twist into the wool and it really is turning into one of favourites to knit with. I am also loving the combination of the natural grey of the wool with the hand dyed Gentian colour way.

True to my form though, as this knitting is for me it gets left to the bottom of the list, so was put aside for all the Christmas knitting and put aside for the custom orders….. but I plan to get back to it at least one night a week now and keep some progress going!

Jennifer Steingass has many many beautiful yoked sweater patterns so I hope this is my first of many! In fact logging into Rav has set me off again and I now rather like the Forestland sweater….. Sooo many patterns sooooo little time…..

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=jenn%20steingass&sort=best&view=captioned_thumbs