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, October 21, 2013

Got Socks?

Lavender Romney Fun!

Every once in awhile, I buy yarn from someone.  Rarely from a yarn shop, I seek yarn from other small farm producers who are raising sheep for a living.  Fun!  What pleasant surprises to be discovered!  

If a spinner only works with their own yarn, growth is limited.  I really enjoy so many different breeds of sheep's wool that as much as I love Shetlands (and I'll always have them as long as I can be a shepherd), I do love working with other fibers.  The picture above is from Romney sheep that live maybe two hours south of our farm.  The sheep live in a moderate sized flock, graze all summer, and are utilized for meat and yarn.  Romney is coarser than any of the sheep I raise, but the yarn is well known for high quality sock fiber.  It's cushy, strong, and warm.  I bought two skeins of worsted weight yarn in this lovely lavender color specifically to make warm, cushy boot socks for winter.  So far?  I love it!

Now is a super good time to get those socks knitted!  The cold weather is just beginning here in the north, with a stiff, cold wind blowing today.  Time to put on some mittens and pull up the hood!  The sheep were delighted to get out and graze this morning.  They love this 'shetlandy' kind of weather and are unfazed.

The sock above:  knitted on size 5 double points.  I cast on 40 stitches, dividing them 10, 20, 10.  I always knit the first row, then switch (in this case) to k3, p1 ribbing.  Sometimes I like a good long cuff, so this ribbing goes for just over two inches.  Then I switched to simply knitting every round until the sock measured six and a half inches long all together.  Now, I'm working on the heel flap.  Fun!  I'll keep you posted.  Hope you are enjoying knitting socks, or searching for someone in your community who can get you started on this most useful, creative, and fun skill!  

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