Monday, December 17, 2018

A Sweaters Quantity ~ Ep 3 of the My Wool Mitten Podcast

Here are the show notes and links for episode 3 of the My Wool Mitten podcast.  You can view that on YouTube here (and I apologize for the length of the episode during the busy month of December!)  So grab your knitting or spinning, put the kettle and join me as I talk about sheep and spinning and the inspiring time (for me at least!) of the slower pace of winter.  You'll even get to briefly meet our two Barnevelder chickens!

((And I forgot to do the pattern give-aways!  Oh dear...))

Make-a-longs and other podcasters (wool and knitting heroes!) are ~

Emily at Fibre Town Podcast and Ravelry Group.  I'm participating in her HandspunWinter Spin-along.

Caroline and Knut at Honer och Eir on Patreon and Instagram for fearless and creative dreams in wool and fiber

Marlies and her beautiful Yarn Brew Podcast and Ravelry  group.  One of the most meaningful makers I know, she is hosting the MeaningfulKAL as well as posting delightful Vlogmas videos this December

Laurie at Chickenwood Studio podcast is another dedicated maker of so many things!  I love hearing her wool stories.

The Corriedale fiber I show in the podcast that had been made into roving was processed right here in Michigan at Zeilingers Wool Mill.  Also, the Romney-Border Leicester yarn I used for my Tensho Sweater was spun at Zeilingers.

Tensho sweater on Ravelry and at the Thread and Ladle website (Beatrice has a lovely podcast as well!)

I am working on a test knit sweater for Elly at Leaf Yarns.  I'm also knitting a shawl (not shown) out of lovely yarn from the Leaf Yarns dye studio available through Etsy.

I mentioned I would share the links to a post I created here on the blog some time ago about how I go about washing raw fleece for processing, and that is here

I'm on Ravelry and Instagram as mywoolmitten

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

With Wool In Hand - Ep 2 of the My Wool Mitten Podcast

So...have you heard?  Yes, we now have a podcast!  

You can find it on You Tube as My Wool Mitten and episode 2 is now up.  I decided it was easier for me to post show notes with links to patterns, producers and things mentioned on the episode here at the blog.  Of course, if you have any questions about anything you see there please feel free to contact me!

Tensho Sweater by Beatrice at Thread and Ladle .  I also want to knit her Ash Point Pullover!

I'm going to be doing a sweater test knit for Elly from Leaf Yarns and I'm so excited for that!  Elly dyes the most beautiful yarns, be sure to check them out as well as her podcast

Caroline at Honer och Eir - inspiring yarns, fibers and podcast on Patreon

Ali at Little Drops of Wonderful podcast and Ravelry group

Memory Keepers Hat turned cowl pattern by Lina-Knits (there is also a Memory Keepers Shawl, and Lina is hosting a KAL for the patterns in her Ravelry group and on her podcast). I made my cowl with our farm yarn "Wise Woman" along with yarn from Tiffany and Ethan at The Woolen Homestead 

MPG (multipurpose garment) cowl pattern by Emily at Fibre Town and her podcast, that you really must watch if you aren't already!  I will be giving away not one but TWO copies of this pattern - one from me, and one generously donated by Emily (thank you!) - for the next episode

Micron Testing for Wool (in case you're interested) here and here 

Louet S-17 spinning wheel (but any of the Louet wheels are good)

I think I remembered them all!  Thank you for watching the podcast and if you haven't already, please consider hitting the subscribe button there on You Tube and then the little bell that will notify you when I new episode is available x o

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Roving in the Wind

Good morning Friends!  I just wanted to take a minute to draw your attention to our "farm products" blog, in case you didn't know about it.  It's listed in the side bar of this blog over on the right, or you can click on this link to go to it My Wool Mitten.  It's just a separate place where we can list items produced here on the farm that are available for purchase, when we have them.

Right now, the only thing we have to offer is some lovely white roving from a Corriedale ewe "Hannah", raised here on the farm and processed at Zeilingers Mill in Frankenmuth, so a completely Michigan product!  It's a lovely spin, so check it out if you're interested.  You can also email me at serenityfarmswool at yahoo dot com if you have any questions.

If you happen to be visiting here after watching The Woolen Homestead podcast, welcome and thank you Tiffany and Ethan for the shout out.  If you haven't already, check them out - they're so much fun and so talented!  They dye some amazing yarn colors

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thumbs For Our Mittens

Now we need thumbs for our mittens, right?

And I don't think I can improve on the directions shared in this video by Knitpicks for picking up the stitches for the afterthought thumb!  Clear and simple.  Well done!  Our friend Rachel at Treehouse Knits also has a tutorial that would help you work these stitches, be sure to check her out (and watch her podcast if you don't already!!!)

Below are my stitches, all picked up.  I do this exactly as the Knitpicks video mentioned above shows except that I normally use dpn's, or whatever is easiest for you. At this point, my waste yarn is still on the stitches, but I'm about ready to carefully remove it

Now here is the thumb opening, waste yarn removed ~

See my awkwardly drawn red circle in the photo?  That's where I would begin knitting around for the thumb.  For years I made the beginning of the thumb round at the "edge" but by moving it to this spot on the underside of the thumb it was just a little neater, at least in my knitting!  In the picture below, I've tried to show how this would be - the white needle is needle 1 (beginning of round), the red needle in the background is needle 2 and the green needle is needle 3.  I would be just ready to start the next round in this photo

So I pick up my yarn at this point and work all the way around in plain knitting, making sure my stitches are all facing correctly and picking up one, or even two, stitches in those corner spaces IF it seems I need to.  There seems to be two different thoughts on that says you should do this to close that gap and another that says it will tend to distort the thumb if you do.  Make that decision for yourself.  If you end up with a "hole" or gap at the corners, similar to those on the gusset of a heel in sock knitting, you can always close it up after finishing using a tapestry needle and bit of your yarn.  

Back to the thumb...if I have chosen to pick up extra stitches, I would knit another plain round and on the following round, decrease those extras by simply knitting two together.  From there on, nothing fancy, just knit until it is the length you want to cover your thumb, then knit 2 together all the way around.  Break the yarn, leaving a length of a few inches, enough to thread onto a tapestry needle, draw that through the remaining stitches and snug it down.  

For the fingerless mitts, we do exactly the same as for full mitten as far as picking up thumb stitches, only this time you're only going to work that thumb till about the top of the knuckle.

Just like for the top of the mitt, I then did the I-cord bind off, following the Craftsy tutorial here.  Or mimic whatever you did for your mitt (garter rows, ribbing, etc.)

Now turn your mittens inside out and darn in the yarn ends.  What could be easier!

So tell me about your mittens!  Have you cast on?  Have you finished them up?  Have you joined the Basket of Mittens KAL 2018 on Ravelry?  Are you tagging them on instagram #shareacupmittens and #basketofmittenskal2018?  Do you have questions or any helpful tips?

I'm feeling an overwhelming urge to cast on a new pair myself ~

Part 1 of the mitten recipe here

Part 2 of the mitten recipe here

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

On To Finer Things - Mittens Part 2

To finer yarn at least ~

Fingerless mitts, in fingering weight yarn using magic loop and 2 contrast colors
You can probably guess that to make a pair of Share A Cup mittens with fingering weight yarn, the pattern will stay pretty much the same except for number of stitches and size of the needles.


You'll need a skein, 438 yards (400 meters) of pretty fingering weight (sock) yarn (MC) and approximately 100 yards (91.4 meters) of contrasting color for your cups (CC) (the mustard gold of the cups above).  If you'd like to do a third color for the background of the cups, as I did with the white in the sample above, you'll need only 100 yards or less of that as well (CC2).  A short piece of smooth yarn in a shockingly different color from your MC.

Needles to give you a fabric you like with your tension.  I used size US 2 (2.75 mm) and US 3 (3.25 mm).  This makes a fairly flexible fabric, if you prefer something denser go down to a US 1 (2.25 mm) and US 2 (2.75 mm).  I should say here that I use the larger needles size on my color work section.  I just know from experience that this is going to give me the nicest final fabric.  If you're color work tension is fine without changing needle size, then just stick with the smaller needle throughout.  By the way, do you know this tip for selecting needle size to suit your yarn if you aren't sure ~

Slip a piece of your yarn into the needle sizer to give you an approximate idea of what needle might work best (particularly helpful with handspun).  Of course, your personal knitting tension is still going to dictate the final decision but I find this to be a helpful tip sometimes.

A beginning of the round marker.  Sewing up needle to weave in ends.


As in the worsted weight version of the mitten, the easiest cuff in the world is to simply cast on with MC the number of required stitches (in this case 60) on the smaller size needle, join in the round and begin knitting to make a nice rolled cuff.  Or work back and forth to make a garter stitch cuff (in the round, that would be k 1 round, p 1 round).  If you prefer ribbing on the cuff, do a few rows of rib.  I like to have about 10 to 12 rounds worked before I start the color work section.

But maybe you'd like to do an I-cord cast on to produce a nice edging like this ~

VeryPink Knits has a nice video tutorial on how to do the I-cord cast on here (all of her tutorials are helpful!)  But honestly, on this small item, I think the simplest and fastest thing to do is just a 3-stitch I-cord with the number of repeats that you need stitches (in this case 60). 

3 stitch I-cord on the right (colored pencils on the left)   

Pick up stitches from the I-cord 

...join, and begin working in the round, knit plain for 10 rounds.  Switching to larger size needle, work 1 more round, then begin the motif.  I'll repeat them here so you don't have to look back at the previous post 

Left mitten motif

Right mitten motif
Follow these charts, using one or two contrasting colors (your choice) with the larger needle.  Knit 1 more round plain with the MC before switching back to the smaller size needle to finish up the hand of your mitt.  Work until you reach the base of your thumb, the spot you want to place your thumb opening.  For me that was 25 more rows with the fingering yarn.  Remember the tip of adding a few extra stitches to allow for ease around the thumb area?  I didn't find I needed to do that with the finer yarn, but do add them if you need it.

Red yarn for the afterthought thumb
For the left hand, knit around until you are 10 stitches from the end of the round.  With your placement yarn, knit the next 8 stitches.  Now, slip those 8 stitches back to the left needle and knit them again with your working yarn as well as the last 2 stitches of the round.  If you look at the photo above, you'll see the red yarn for my thumb stitches.  It's just going to hang out there as you finish knitting the hand of your mitten.  When working the right hand, you will knit 2, work your 8 thumb placement stitches, then knit on to the end of the round.  I find that giving myself 2 stitches before the side of the mitten keeps it from distorting, rather than placing it right on the edge.

Continue knitting until you reach the place you want your fingerless mitts to end, usually right around the knuckle of your middle finger.  I knit 20 rows, decreasing 2 stitches evenly spaced on that last row (I found that helped to snug up the top of the mitt)  Bind off with an I-cord bind off to match your I-cord cast on (if that's how you started your mitt)  I find these instructions from Craftsy's blog very clear and easy (lots of good tips on that Craftsy blog!)  If you started your mitt with ribbing or garter stitch, I would stop knitting the hand of the mitt a few rows sooner and then work either ribbing or garter to match your cast on.

In the next post, we'll finish the afterthought thumbs on our mittens!  In the meantime, what edging have you used?  Did you try the I-cord?  I love the look!

I wanted to apologize, too, for taking so long to get this second post up for you!  Sometimes life...right?  I'll be faster getting the thumb post up.  And thank you again for knitting along.  Don't forget to ask any questions if you have them either in the comments here or over in the Ravelry group for The Woolen Homestead.  And post your project pictures there for a chance to win the March prize ;)