Shivering Sheep Shawl

The second project for the month of April, using only handspun yarn, is a shawl that I am calling the Shivering Sheep Shawl.  It is a pattern that I have developed myself.  This is the first project I have used the pattern on.  I plan on test knitting it using several other yarns, from fingering to worsted weight, to get a better handle on size and amount used.  Anyway, here is the first go-around with the Shivering Sheep Shawl.

I had about 505 yards of handspun, and used just about all of it except the last 5 yards.

Sh-01 Yarn-wp

Sh-01. Yarn for Sh-01, Shivering Sheep Shawl.

The fiber I used was roving that I had.  I don’t remember whether I purchased the fiber or if it was a gift from a friend, but it was about 4 oz of 90/10% wool/mohair.  It has been aging nicely in my stash since 2004.  I figured it was time to use it.  It was spun approximately to a sport weight.

The Shivering Sheep Shawl pattern is very easy.  The pattern will be available on Ravelry once I have finished test knitting it with several different weights of yarn.

Sh-01 Shawl 170406-wp

Sh-01. Start of Shivering Sheep Shawl, as of 4-6-17.

I started the shawl on April 6, after finishing the cold sheeping socks.   It was finished and just needed blocking on April 22.  The yarn was very nice to knit with and I do wish I had more of it.  Oh, well.  I had three hanks of spun yarn 505 yards) that I used.  This is a top-down shawl, so, of course, each row has more stitches than the previous row.

I used U.S. size 6 (4.0 mm) 48″ needles (Clover needles to be specific).  I basically knitted it until I had just enough yarn to do the picot edging.  The first attempt a the picot edge was not successful because I ended up running out of yarn when I still had about 4 inches of the edge left to do.  The unsuccessful picot edge used three chain stitches between each bind-off.  To make it to the end, I had to frog it back to the beginning of the bind-off, and changed the number of chain stitches between bind-offs from 3 to 2.  That made a big difference and I was left with about 5 yards of yarn when I was finished.

The finished shawl can be worn as a scarf or shawl, which makes it very versatile and usable through more seasons.  I do like how the shawl came out.  It stays on the shoulders well because of the curve the top of the shawl.

From tip-to-tip, the span of the shawl is 68″ (172.7 cm).  The length of the shawl from top to bottom is 19.5″ (49.5 cm).

Sh-01 Shawl 170424-01-wp

Sh-01. Finished, blocked Shivering Sheep Shawl, as of 4-24-27.

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Sh-01. Shivering Sheep Shawl, side view, as of 4-24-27.

Barbara. sheep-icon-04


Cold Sheeping Continued – Socks from Handspun

Over a week ago, I finished the handspun socks dyed with butternuts (S-06 Socks).  I just needed to weave in the ends before I photographed them.  For some reason, finished socks can languish for days or weeks on a shelf in my bedroom, just  waiting to have their ends woven in.

Well, I finally wove in the ends and the are officially done!  Now that it’s spring, I think they may be a little to heavy to wear.  At least they will be ready for next fall.

For those who want particulars, here goes…

S-06 Socks - Cold sheeping continued.

S-06 Socks. Handspun East Friesian wool, dyed with butternuts.

I used about 222 yards of handspun East Friesian wool.  The wool was skein dyed to minimize any possibility of felting.  The yarn is a worsted weight.  I used size US 3 (3.25mm) needles.

The socks were knitted from the toe up, using a pattern I developed around 1998 or so.  The stitch pattern is a K1P1 rib.  I always like how it looks.  There is something elegant about a K1P1 rib.  It’s a little tedious to do, but the result is worth it.

I started with 289 yards of wool, and have about 67 yards left.  At least I used most of it, and will put the remainder to good use later.  Just for the record, this yarn was spun and dyed in 2002.  I guess you could say it is well-aged and has ripened nicely.

Barbara.  sheep-icon-04




April: Starting the Month of Handspun Cold Sheeping

I have been a hand spinner since the late 1990s.  In that time, I have created a lot of handspun yarn.  Like most hand spinners, I have not used up all of what I have spun.  With that in mind, I decided that April 2017 will be the month of cold sheeping with handspun.

The handspun cold sheeping idea came to me when I was going through a very large bag of yarn that was hand-dyed with natural dyes.  Much of that yarn was natural white yarn that I had spun from roving or from a fleece that I processed.

I grabbed some light brown yarn that was spun from an East Friesian fleece I had acquired from Wooly Acre Farm, in Lisle, New York.  Although East Friesian sheep are considered a dairy sheep,  their fleeces can also be used for handspun yarn.  It is a medium grade wool with a relatively long-staple length.  It is great for hard-wearing boot socks and outer garments.  The wool is very springy, has a slight luster to it, and spins up very nicely.  It also takes up dye very well.  The spun yarn produces beautiful stitch definition due to it’s springiness.  It is great for cabled and texture-stitch garments.

East Friesian handspun yarn

East Friesian handspun yarn for S-06 socks. Yarn dyed with butternuts.

I am making socks from the yarn I spun and dyed in 2002,  Talk about well-aged stash!  It is a worsted weight yarn.  I decided to make a pair of socks from this.  I have about 290 yards of this yarn, more than enough for socks.

I started working on the S-06 socks on April 2, 2017.  I always knit my socks from the toe up because I could never get the kitchener stitch to look right.  I blamed that on my being left-handed.

I use a basic toe-up pattern that I developed for myself.  It starts with a figure-8 cast-on for the toe, then increasing to the number of stitches needed for the foot.  I chose to do a K1P1 rib for the instep and cuff.   I also use a short row heel.

S-06 sock foot completed.

S-06 socks.  East Friesian handspun dyed with butternuts. Foot completed as of 4-2-17.

I am using US size 3 (3.25 mm) needles for the socks.  Normally, for commercial worsted weight yarn, I use US size 4 (3.50 mm) needles for socks, but since handspun can have some minor inconsistencies, resulting in a slightly “thick & thin” yarn, going down one needle size works best resulting in a consistent stitch gauge.  I do the same thing for sweaters and other garments knitted with handspun.  That little rule of thumb has served me well over the years to get garments that fit.

S-06 sock, heel completed.

S-06 sock, short row heel completed as of 4-4-17

I am now working on the cuff, and hope to get the first sock finished and the second one started this weekend.   Socks work up very quickly when knitted in worsted weight.



Barbara. sheep-icon-05