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.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Knitting a ram

Well everyone, hope you didn't get too stuffed over the holiday weekend!  Despite the cold air that moved in, it was a wonderful break.  The flock and all others were cozily hanging out in the barn when the north winds began to blow, bringing the temperature down nearly 40 degrees from near 60 degrees to a much colder upper 20's.  This time of year, the barn is always a cozy shelter that they all appreciate very much.

Have you ever knit a ram?  Here is Wooly Bear's yarn, being knitted into a sweater I've been planning for a long time.  His fleece this year was just gorgeous!  It was such a pleasure spinning it up into all the yarn I'd need for this sweater.  I could sit at my wheel and spin Shetland fiber like this for hours and hours!  When it was all spun up, I washed it to set the twist and when it was dry (barely!), I began my knitting.  I could hardly wait to get started!
 Wooly Bear's yarn being knitted into a long awaited sweater

The brown (moorit) along the top of the above photo, and on the left side of the photo below is from sweet Maewyn (a ewe in our flock).  I just love how Shetland colors pair together so harmoniously.  When the sweater is put together, I'll finish it with some more details and enhancements.  I'm knitting it on circular needles, but not in the round. That means I'll have to sew the sections together after each section and sleeve is knitted.  It's not the fastest way to make a sweater, but still, it's pleasurable knitting.
 The back section, folded over, with circular needles and the current ball

Along the waist of the sweater, just above the moorit color is a cable and ladders pattern that was fun to knit.  It was pretty simple and easy going.  Then, I debated throwing in a couple garter rows of moorit above that, but decided to just leave Wooly Bear's yarn there.  Above the cables and ladders is plain stockinette stitch.  The needles are close to the neck and I'm almost ready to begin the neck and shoulder shaping.  It sure is fun to work on this!
That works for me Sophie!

Sweet little Sophie can be quite a pest when I'm knitting!  She'll insist on sleeping on my lap, which makes for challenging knitting...partly because I cannot hold my work in the most comfortable place, but also because she LOVES to swat at or try to eat my yarn as I pull on the ball!  Pesty!  How can you make such a warm snuggle kitty move under such circumstances?  So the exasperation is on-going...until that is....this little basket happened to be placed on the sofa nearby.  Within moments, she climbed in and was sound asleep.  Finally, I could knit in peace!

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