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Yarn from the beginning- Post #1.

13 Jul

Though I didn’t raise the sheep, I’m starting pretty much at the very beginning.

Long story short:
My friend went to a winery with her husband, the owners raise sheep “just because” and just GIVE AWAY the fleece. She mentioned she likes to knit and poof! They hand her a bag of raw wool, she accepted it gratefully, telling me later her first thought was “oh, Ashley will be able to figure this out.” Of course. I mean, I am the google queen…

NO ONE TOLD ME JUST HOW GROSS IT IS.

When I say raw wool, I mean it. It was literally, shaved off the sheep and stuffed in a bag. It smelled. There was poop. There was (is) dirt and debris. I’m on my third soaking and the water is still muddy. I’ve followed the basics that I found online, I’ve been soaking, then rinsing, soaking and rinsing aggitating it a bit here and there. I finally pulled off a smaller more manageable piece to get it clean, and that piece cleaned up rather quickly, so I have hopes for the rest of it. It was a large bag. 🙂

Tomorrow… I pick up the cards so after the mess is clean and dry I can start carding and spinning. I’m reasonably comfortable with my top whorl drop spindle, and hubby seems to think we can rig up a kick spindle which makes me super happy, probably working off THESE instructions. It’s a lot of work, but so far, even though it’s still messy… I find it very gratifying. I’m very excited to have this project, and will be very excited to knit with yarn I’ve created from such a raw state!

Bag of fleece- see all the debris and dirt?

First soaking… ew, the water is just gross at this point!

Drying a bit of “clean” fleece… The lanolin content is AMAZING. Still full of debris, but much cleaner… 

 

Cuddle sack pattern for newborn

3 Oct

Materials and supplies:

  • Apx. 200 yards worsted weight wool (I used PeaceFleece, but alpaca, merino and others would be lovely)
  • US 8 16″ circular needle
  • US 8 double pointed needs 
  • Cable needle or one of the DPNs for pattern
  • Stitch marker for round
Abbreviations:

  • k -knit
  • p- purl
  • k2tog -knit two together (decrease)
  • m1- make one (increase)
Pattern:
Cast on 84 stitches and join to work in the round, place stitch marker. 
Knit in stockinette for 1.5-2 inches, on last round, mark the center of work (knit 42 stitches, place marker, knit to end)
Start cable pattern as follows: 
Rounds 1-5: Purl 4, knit 8 purl 4, knit 8, purl 4, knit to center marker, Purl 4, knit 8 purl 4, knit 8, purl 4 knit to marker
Repeat this round 4 more times
Round 6: Cable Round
(Purl 4, slip 4 onto cable needle and hold in front of work, knit 4, knit four from cable needle (twist made) purl 4, slip 4 onto cable needle and hold in BACK of work, knit 4, knit 4 from cable needle (twist made) purl 4, knit to marker), Repeat to marker (Purl 4, slip 4 onto cable needle and hold in front of work, knit 4, knit four from cable needle (twist made) purl 4, slip 4 onto cable needle and hold in BACK of work, knit 4, knit 4 from cable needle (twist made) purl 4, knit to marker). Note: The cables should twist towards each other. 
Rounds 7- 16: Repeat cable pattern round 1. 
Round 17: Repeat cable round 
Rounds 18-23: Repeat cable pattern round 1
Round 24: Switch back to stockinette. 
Round 25-27: Knit plain
Round 28: (Increase round)  (k21, m1) 4 times
Knit plan until sack measures about 14 inches from cast on row. It will be curling at the top and it’s supposed to, it will make it more comfy. 🙂
Decrease: 
Round 1: (k 20, k2tog) repeat around 
Round 2: knit
Round 3: (k19, k2tog) repeat around
Round 4: knit
Continue this pattern until there are 56 total stitches, now we’ll decrease more quickly:
Round 1: (knit 5, knit 2 together) repeat around
Round 2: knit
Round 3: (knit 4, knit 2 together) repeat around
Round 4: knit
Round 5: (k3, k2tog) repeat around
Round 6: knit
Round 7: (k2, k2tog) repeat around
Round 8: knit
Round 9: (k1, k2tog) repeat around
Round 10: knit
Round 11: (k2tog) around
Round 12: knit

break yarn, thread through tapestry need and pull through remaining loops. Weave through several times.