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

Wooly Wednesday!

Each week I am going to spotlight a yarn, pattern or something wooly!!

This week it is the turn of the new Hilltop DK yarn!

Just before Christmas the local Mill rang to say that the yarn from this year’s shearing was able to be collected! Sooooo Exciting!!!! So I hopped in the car and drove the twenty minutes to the mill to collect it ASAP!

This year we had two different lots spun up. I purchased the fleeces from my neighbours new yearling lamb flock, who are Balwen and Torddu, basically Welsh hill sheep. Hence the name of the blend! I was super excited to see what this blend of fleece had turned out like! It is GORGEOUS!!

Its is bouncy and super warm when knitted up. I have already knit up a hat for the farmer, so he can wear the sheep to feed the sheep and I don’t think it has left his head these past weeks with the snow and ice! I have also knitted up a pair of double knit socks for James in this yarn.

James reckons they are the warmest socks he has (and he has a number of pairs of supposedly thermal ones!!) They also look to be really hardwearing as boot socks. Something I most definitely look for when choosing yarn for socks for my husband as he is soooo hardwearing on socks. I have watched many a beautiful pair disintegrate into holes rather too rapidly for my liking. I am not talking of little darnable holes either!! A pair of size 10 socks is just over a skein of yarn, so why not grab two and do contrasting cuffs and toes??

The feel of the yarn is akin to that of the Icelandic wool and as such I don’t feel that it is suitable for neck wear for example, but as a sweater I might line the collar line, but it would do well as a good outdoor sweater for the winter months. Especially working outside in the cold. I have managed to dye some of the yarn up already and it is drinking the dye in beautifully making for really rich colours with plenty of depth.

I will be releasing the natural coloured yarn and two rich deep colourways on Friday this week!!!!! (did you see the sneak peek on Instagram??)

Into the wild via the Etsy store, so if you fancy grabbing a skein or two pop over to the shop on Friday! In the meantime there are plenty of gorgeous yarns to coo over and buy in the shop already!! Including our popular Rustic with Alpaca DK, Pure Llanwenog DK (even in a rainbow of miniskeins!! And as always our ever popular sock yarns!!

Looking for last minute gift knits or a Christmas Eve cast on??

I got you covered!!!

I have been working on quite a few patterns recently!! Including these!! (With more coming in the new year) All inspired by my love of nature and living close to nature!

We have the Queen Bee Hat and I am chuffed to bits with how this has turned out so I made mitts and socks to go with!!

These have all been knitted using the Tyddyn Bryn Rustic with Alpaca range of DK wool and they are sooo wearable and WARM!!

I have also finally sorted the pattern out for the Jewels shawl (thank you my fabulous tech editor for reminding me!!)

This is knitted in a sock weight yarn with a silk content to give it maximum drape! The Tyddyn Bryn Smooshie bade is perfect for this!

All these patterns are available on Etsy, Ravelry and Loveknitting!!

Still on the go we have the Hazels shawl…. which I seem to be taking forever to write up let alone chart….

And the Hive shawl, which is nearly written (honest mum!! 😂😘) which need blocking final photos and a trip to the tech editor!!

I am also now working on a range of foraging and smallholding inspired patterns!! Mushrooms, more leaves, animals and even a hedgehog set of patterns which will be released to raise money for our local hoggie hogspital who nursed our beautiful Holly so well!!

Wooly Wednesday

I have knitted up some fabulous sweaters for the boys using our beautiful rustic with alpaca yarns!!

You can see which one is more impressed at the photo shoot for his new jumper!!

The yarn is a gorgeous blend of next to skin soft yarn!! And the colourways lend themselves beautifully to colour work patterns and these yoked sweaters, the Diplodocus sweater by Kate Oates is perfect for my two dinosaur enthusiasts!!

We have all sorts of colours sure to please your dino lovers too!!

He really does love it! Just didn’t want to take photos 😂🥴 Here are the colours we have available in the Etsy shop!

Have you ever fancied dyeing your own yarn!?

Well I have developed a kit just for you!!!

The kit contains:

  • Two 100g skeins of our pure Llanwenog Aran weight yarn
  • A professional grade dye specially blended for you, in two colours and you can choose the base colour, and either a tonal or contrasting colour!
  • Gloves
  • Stirrers
  • A full set of instructions helping you to get the effect you want from your own hand dyed yarn!

A perfect gift for a knitter or crocheted for Christmas to give them a taste of creating their own unique yarns!!

The yarn is a gorgeous pure Llanwenog yarn, from the sheep here on our holding. These sheep grow enormously bouncy fleeces and we take them to a local mill, literally a few miles up the road from us here is West Wales where they get scoured, sorted and spun up into a wonderful yarn, which is next to skin soft, and fabulous to knit with.

The yarn literally drinks in the colours!!

What colour would you dye??

Find the kits here!!

All things Yarn!!!

I have been working super hard recently and have dyed up a ton of yarn and made a few new products as well!!

I have finished dyeing last year clip and spin ready to receive this years which is partly being spun into sock weight!!! This includes the Rustic with alpaca range of heathered colourways….

And I have been able to introduce the Pure Llanwenog DK range to you all!!

Both of these are are so bouncy and next to skin soft!! I have knitted up sweaters for both of the boys!! (But that is for another post!!)

The yarns are available in the Etsy shop here

And I have even helped you choose by creating a rainbow mini skein box! Which comes with a beautiful snowflake progress keeper!