28 February 2013

on and off the needles (sometimes in tangles)

(Rose quartz image: ajilbab.com)  

Seashells from my honeymoon last March.

First of all, I want to thank everyone so much for their kind comments and enthusiasm about our new sock yarn. We've enjoyed the process of taking the yarn from the sheep to the spinning mill - and it really has been my mom and dad who've done the most work. (Thanks, you guys!)

Some projects have come on and off the needles these past few weeks without documentation.  The sweater above is another version of the same pattern I made about a month ago for my sister's expected baby. I got such fine results from the first attempt I couldn't resist making another for a co-worker who's expecting her first baby in about a month.

The socks at the top are my latest obsession. New yarn - our Crosby Hill sock yarn in Rose Quartz and a new pattern that I've never tried before. I had to restart and tear out all the stitches because I realized they were going to be too small on Sunday night, but I'm over the disappointment and back on the knitting bandwagon.

Such is the knitting life.

The yarn and an amended version of the pattern are now waiting near my morning knitting spot for another attempt at this project. I usually have to start over a few times with a new pattern, so this is par for the course, I guess. I'm joining a new knitting circle this upcoming Sunday, so I think I'll pack this project to bring along.

My sister is still hanging in there with her second baby. My mom suggested that we might be able to meet our new nephew or niece this weekend, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. Lots of new projects and precious expectations here at Tendril & Twine this week-end. 

23 February 2013

crosby hill sock yarn is here!

Our sock yarn is available here. This triple-ply yarn is 80% CVM Romeldale wool and 20% nylon. We pot-dye it in small batches. It makes beautiful socks, as you can see. Both examples featured here took two skeins of yarn, around 360-400 yards. There was enough left over for maybe a pair of baby socks or a tiny cap.

The patterns above are free on Ravelry. My new year socks (the purple/green/turquoise Fairy Queen colorway) are called Toasty Twist by Thersa Fox. Ashley's socks (the purple/blue Sugar Plums Dancing colorway) are called Anastasia Socks by MintyFresh. Note: these links won't work unless you're on Ravelry.

We have Crosby Hill Farm knitting group on Ravelry - we'd love to see everyone's projects. Please join, check us out. Take the time to see everyone's beautiful projects made from Crosby Hill Farm's yarn and fiber.

21 February 2013

barn notes : shearing day

6:39 a.m.

6:46 a.m.

7:04 a.m.

It was quite a busy day last Sunday at Crosby Hill Farm. We all gathered in the barn mid-morning to round up the sheep and take off their coats.

Strange enough, we had two very persistent onlookers the entire time: one of our roosters and our barn cat Meow. Meow sat on the same fence post all morning and stretched and twisted her body to catch every detail with her bight green eyes. The rooster tripped up everyone, including the sheep, and managed to somehow get in almost all of the photos. He also congratulated all of the sheep once they had gone through the shearing process.

The wool is the main story here - and it's gorgeous. It came off the sheep like butter. Mark, our shearer, was so good at his job that the wool came off in smooth, soft complete fleeces. The dirtiest parts were cleared away on the shearing floor and then the fleeces were packed into clean bags. Now my mother will skirt them and we will post them in our shop as soon as we can.

It was a good day out in the barn.

16 February 2013

belly shots

We took some photos of my sister's belly today - she's thirty-seven and a half weeks along. Beautiful and graceful. So wonderful with her little daughter. The women of our family - Mom, Ash, Jenny and I (wish you were here Traci) spent all day in the kitchen at the farm. Between snapping photos, drinking tea and dying yarn we had a busy day. Little Hannah orbited between us chasing the kitty, demanding attention, charming us with her smile and finally being carried off for nap time (which wasn't her favorite event of the day) - I don't know how we ever functioned without her.

Here's what came out of the dye pot today: Mermaids in the Basement. The inspiration for this colorway comes from one of my favorite snippets of an Emily Dickinson poem.

I started Early - Took my Dog -
And visited the Sea -
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me 

Ashley's calling this colorway Forever in Blue Jeans - yup let's all channel some Neil Diamond. I can imagine knitting a pair of socks out of this yarn and then dancing in them to their namesake song. We plan on having these two colorways, plus a few more uploaded to our shop by the end of the weekend.

While we had our backs turned Hannah did some color-work herself. She really likes to stick things in people's shoes.

We made a leg of lamb in the crockpot and had grandma and grandpa over for dinner. All in all a wonderful day. Tomorrow will be busy a professional shearer (I think that's a real word) is coming over to shear our thirty sheep. We'll be up to our armpits in soft soft wool.

I'll be sure to share some photos. Hope you're all having a good weekend.

13 February 2013

fiber love story

A fiber love story. . .

                                Ahem. Once upon a time there were two bobbins of handspun yarn sitting in the sunshine.  The first bobbin looked at the other bobbin and felt something stirring (or should we say spinning) in its tiny, little heart.

Every hand-spinner knows what happened next - it's what happens every time we see two colorways of fiber that just have to be combined - that have to be plied together and bound for life and then knit into a beautiful garment or keepsake.

You could call it a whirl-wind romance, I suppose. The fibers which were spun counter-clockwise onto the first bobbins are then plied together clockwise onto a third. Two are combined into one. It is a bit like a marriage ceremony.

You may now kiss the yarn. (I frequently do.)

The End

11 February 2013

mash two bananas

Weekend baking: Banana Pancakes. For some reason my husband is always getting worried about the amount of bananas I have piling up in the freezer. Their quantity reaches a certain level and he starts telling me that I shouldn't buy any more bananas until I deal with the ones I have. (As if I could ever do that on a physical or a psychological level.) But I do try baking with them sometimes. This recipe is lovely. I found it here.

What's become of the hollyhocks . . .

Outside, inside. Testing out my new socks this weekend. (I wore them both days.)

Set up the loom again. This time I'm using multiple yarns in the warp. The gray is yarn from our farm, and you've all seen the multi-colored double ply before. I used it my previous project, but as I hope you can see I'm getting entirely different results now. This is what I was hoping weaving would provide for me. A way to experiment with fiber and color. I intend to weave with a darker gray yarn and anticipate that I'm going to get some nice stripes - but we'll have to see how it goes.

Watercolor color study.

These aren't new books, but they're good books. They'll be keeping me company through these snowy February days.

09 February 2013

fingers in the frosting

My first woven object is complete and in the hands of its new owner. I gave it to my sister as part of her birthday present. So that means I'm free to start another project without worrying that the old one is getting dusty (at my house anyway). I gave away a lot of knitted objects today. My sister also got the sweater, booties and hat that I'd made for the new baby. I guess it's time to make more of those as well.

The party for my niece was a nice break from the usual Monday through Friday grind that we've been experiencing around here. It was good to see family and overeat. My grandparents were there and my grandma looked well, so there's a lot to be thankful for.

I couldn't help snapping some pictures and stealing some books while I was at my sister's house. She's a quilter, so amongst the books and toddler toys there were tiny piles of fabric and spools of thread.

Ashley has made a knitted softie for our niece every year. This one is a handspun bunny, knit entirely in one piece, which sounds very convenient.

Here's the little pillow I finished for Hannah. She was sitting on it this afternoon, so at least I know that she'll get some use out of it - and that's the most important thing, right?

The afternoon ended with cake which one little person couldn't keep her fingers out of.

A sweet day indeed.
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