Monday, April 4, 2016

Scotland, a Pattern, and a Lambcam

I'm home from Scotland, what a Grand trip! I spent a week in Edinburgh with friends Thea Colman, Kirsten Kapur, and Sonya Philip.  We explored a castle, and roamed the streets, cemeteries, and alleys. We spent two glorious days at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.  And we met people, the folks I call my invisible internet friends, and hugged them in real life. Above all, the people are always my favorite part of an adventure.

I stayed on a little longer than my roomies, spending a few extra days with my friend Jeni and her husband Archie, a visit long overdue. We visited the Verdant Works Textile Museum (heaven for me, including the smell). I have a thing for equipment and moving parts. 

chain stitch industrial machine

skein winder for which I pine 

an early automated loom
 The Great Tapestry of Scotland was on display while we were there -- mind blowing embroidery.

 You can see more photos from the trip on my Instagram account.

My etsy store is open again, featuring my first sewing pattern, The Ann Carolyn Smock. Thanks everyone for your encouragement and your patience. The making of this pattern was labor intensive, but a great deal of fun learning. I want to make more sewing patterns!

This weekend, April 9th at 8PM, Tammy from A Wing and a Prayer Farm will be live on her lambcam. If you visit her blog and leave a comment you will be entered to win either my Ann Carolyn Smock pattern or my Fried Chicken Mittens two-at-a-time pattern + a skein of mitten yarn! You can find more details about her lambcam there and her life as a farmer. She gets a lot done.

Wishing you an excellent week.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Travel Plans

Hey! I wanted to let you know that my etsy store will be closed until March 28th. I am going on a trip to Scotland! I hope to be able to send you some pictures while I am there. Take a look at my Instagram for the most recent stuff.

I will be releasing my Ann Carolyn Smock pattern the last week of March. I am nervous and excited for that event.

In the meantime, here are some photos of Doc Mason's sheeep being shorn a couple of weeks ago. I wish you could have been there.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Etsy Store!

Open for business, a new etsy store under the same name I use in many other places, Odacier. Also, I have named the yarn that I have been having spun for the last few years:

I have long admired Julia Farwell-Clay's Nordic Star Cowl featured in Knitscene a while back -- so much that I often use it as a teaching example of best use of variegated yarn. Julia has translated that design into a sweater pattern. It is Spectacular I tell you, called Winter Traveller, and it is worked in Doc Mason's Wool!

I uploaded the remaining yarn from the 2015 clip to etsy, but it sold out before I made this post. There are a few skeins of yarn left from the 2014 clip though.

I have also been picking away at writing my first garment pattern, called the Ann Carolyn smock. It's the same yoked smock that has seen many iterations here and on my instagram. 

The learning curve is big, but big learning curves are fun to me.

I plan to release the paper pattern as soon as I get back from a trip to Scotland (I am going to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival!), that will be the end of March. It will be for sale in my etsy store.

There are more, but you get the idea. 
Enjoy your day!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Foxhill Farm's Polka Knot Hat

I do not knit enough hats.  Hats are fun, and quick, and economical, and they make splendid gifts. Even to one's self.

Thea makes hats often.  She's smart like that (and in many other ways). So this summer while she and her girls were visiting, we hatched a plan to coordinate three hats just in time for Rhinebeck, worked up in Foxhill Farm's lovely yarns.  

This is my Polka Knot Hat, worked in Foxhill Farm's 3-ply bulky wool. It is knit in the round from the bottom up. 

The polka knots are fun to work and provide an opportunity to showcase a special yarn, maybe something you already have in your stash. In the sample they are worked in Graceland Farm's Alpaca, which has a dreamy halo. Imagine the confetti effect that could be created with a multicolor variegated yarn!

Our hat patterns are $4.00 each. If you have the good fortune to visit The New York Sheep and Wool Festival next week, please check out Foxhill Farm yarns, and say hello to Alice and Sue.

Suggested Yarns
Main color: 1 skein (90 yards, 4 ounces) of Foxhill Farm 3-ply bulky weight, “Bucks Plus” 100% wool
Contrast color: approximately 30 yards of worsted weight or 60 yards of sport weight held double, shown in Graceland Farm 100% alpaca
13 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
12 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches in polka knot pattern
Skills Used
Carrying a second color, working a small circumference in the round.
US size 10½ (6.5mm) suggested to obtain gauge.
Needle styles: 16-inch (40cm) circulars for the hat body, and your preferred needle style for working a small circumference in the round (double points, two circulars, or one long circular).
• 1 Stitch marker
• Tapestry needle
• Pom pom maker

And check out Thea's hats! 

Daisy's Hat

Buck's Hat

Wishing you a grand weekend, wherever you are.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Searsport Shores Ocean Campground

Hello from Cape Cod! My family is celebrating a couple of 50th birthdays by stretching out on the beach.

Next week I will be the artist in residence at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground. I am bringing along my sewing machines and my knitting machine. My week's goal will be to stitch a garment a day. It's a great deal of fun to focus on stitching only, little else.

Ready to hang on the knitting machine

Campers are invited to join me in studio for stitching as well. Come learn the simple in and out of needle and thread and you will be prepped for a lifetime of mending. Or sit down with yarn and sticks and give knitting a go. All ages welcome.

In the meantime, I hope you are capturing the joy of summer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

PEI and Belfast Mini Mills

While visiting Prince Edward Island recently I had the pleasure of touring Belfast Mini Mills. I encourage you to explore their website and watch the video below. They design and build milling equipment capable of processing small batches, using less space than traditional milling equipment and less water. My friend Jani of Starcroft Fiber has a Belfast Mini Mill with which she spins her Nash Island fleece.

 There are sheep and a guard llama that greet visitors at the farm.

 And there is a peacock with a whole lot to say.

This is their dye set up: I want to recreate this inner colander on a pulley on small scale for my dye stove.

Fiber going into the carder comes out like ...


And then it is spun and sent through a steamer that looks like a cannon. A yarn cannon.

The company store has hand crafted items as well as yarn and books and tools.

I often boast that I'm not at risk of over-purchasing when I head off to a yarn event. I typically come home with one or two skeins of yarn and a big smile.  I'm afraid my bragging rights are gone after this trip.

It's easy to see where the folks at Belfast Mini Mills get their color palette. I am a big fan of bright colors, especially as today's trend leans toward neutrals.

I grinned the whole eight miles across the bridge to the mainland. My mud smeared truck was filled with sweet yarn and inspiration.