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.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Mix it up! ...do do...mix it up....do do
These barn mittens were a super fun project of mixing up the yarns. Someone I know had a ton of spun singles of all sorts of lovely fibers, and didn't know what to do with them all. Singles have rumored reputations that have been unfounded here at this farm. We decided to trust our instincts and put them to the test of durability and ruggedness by plunging them into daily living on a busy sheep farm to see what would happen. The results have been very pleasing!
First, we mixed up the colors. There is no logic behind the design of color in these mittens. It was literally, knit until the ball runs out kind of thing. We took multiple colors and just threw them in where needed, with the gray as the overall base color of the mittens. The red added a nice touch, giving them an almost festive feel. Several different balls were employed in the making of these mittens. All yarns were about the same gauge...roughly a worsted weight running a tad on the bulky side. There were occasional slubs along the way, that simply added warmth and character to these artistic wearables.
The end result is a pair of mittens that has now endured one of the roughest winters ever thrown at us...countless soakings by water buckets, freezing tight to bucket handles and stall latches, smoothing feathers, lugging hay, and occasionally being snatched out of coat pockets by creatures who put EVERYTHING in their mouths ALL OF THE TIME! lol
What have we learned?
1. There is no such thing as 'waste yarn'.
2. There is no such thing as yarn without a purpose
3. Singles are strong, durable, and warm
4. Not every knitting project has to be a carefully designed, well thought out, detailed kind of thing
5. Free-form knitting results in fun and satisfaction
So go ahead and wing it! See what you can do.