Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Sock Year!

Wheely Wooly Farm has had an incredible first year thanks to all of you! So many people have contributed to this first year as being outstandingly memorable. I would never have dreamed that so many great things could happen with our sheep, fiber, and yarns, as well as the many, many new friends we've made along the way! This picture shows where it all started....from the ground up!

These two pairs of socks were handspun by me from the very special ewe we now own, thanks to special friends of ours who were willing to part with her. Iris's wool became my dream sock. Honestly, I burned countless calories wiggling my feet in her warm, soft wool! The sock on the left is dyed with fruit punch drink mix, while the sock on the right is Iris's wool in the natural color, with a purple accent yarn. The yarns are both 2-plys, spun in a light weight worsted (meaning about a 3 or 4 on a yarn scale). This grist makes an excellent sock that is strong, and warm.

Then there is Sweetie! Her wool is soft and warm and a real delight to knit up as well!
The socks are from her wool in this picture.
These two pairs of socks are from wool I purchased, sheep unknown. The dark blue pair on the right are what I was wearing the day I hurried out into the snow with just my muck boots on, and was positively delighted at the cush and warmth! Bye bye soaking wet boot liners! fun colors with angora rabbit cuffs...
To Romney wool soooooo easy to spin, but soooooo dense and heavy to wear!

To lovely Gwendolyn and her golden tips!

All of these socks were knit from my handspun yarn. Most were knit from one pattern, a pattern I highly recommend by Melinda Goodfellow. She can be found at Yankee Knitter Designs. She writes patterns for other things, but it's her sock pattern that has me hooked! It is sooooo well written, which is perfect for a handspinner who might spin up a variety of gauges of yarn. Her pattern covers it all, and is extremely well written to simplify the sock knitting process. Before long, you'll have most of the pattern memorized. There are so many wonderful patterns out there to be explored, but that can also be overwhelming. Melinda's "Classic Socks for the family in Fingering, Sport, and Worsted Weights" will open the door to anyone who wants to learn how to knit socks, or get better at knitting socks. After learning how to make the socks, you can begin throwing in your own creativity by changing yarns, intarsia, and so on. The creativity is endless! All of the socks you see above have been for my family. You can do it, too!

There is more to come on the excitement of socks in the new year, so I hope you'll continue to follow my blog! I don't think you'll be disappointed! If you learn to knit socks, please please send me a picture and I'll add it to my blog! I highly encourage all of you out there to experience the joy of Shetland wool by experiencing the warm, soft socks they produce!!

So back to our first year! Stay tuned for the next post for our top moments of the year! In the meantime...Happy Sock Year from Wheely Wooly Farm!

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