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Pleased to Meet Ewe

There’s a new face in the pasture this weekend! Meet Daphne-

Daphne, 4 months

This sweet little girl came to us from McIntyre Family Farm, just east of Sedro Woolley. She’s Icelandic, and has such a lovely dark fleece. Here she is getting acquainted with the pasture gang-

They gave her a little bit of a hard time her first day, but now she seems to have taken on Felix as her mentor.

So that is super cool. Good Boy, Felix! 🙂

And as if that wasn’t enough cuteness for one post, the little felty sheep puppet from last week now has a face- and a name. Meet Posy-

I am really pleased with how her embroidered grass and flowers turned out- and it’s a great way to use up little bits of leftover yarn.

Other projects still in progress-

Forest at approximately 75% is going really well- onwards to the neckline shaping!

And alpaca yarn yarn- 3 oz of white and 4 oz of brown. Plan is to work some of it into a hat for Bill, the Alpaca herd manager at Maxwelton Aerie.

Emma and Luna yarn

Thinking of a Stripey hat, but am still open to other options.

Flora’s Felty Friend

Did some more felting yesterday- trying for a slightly thinner material. So only four layers of fiber in each sheet (last time was six I think). I did two natural white (ish) and two from misc dark wool from the stash.

I twas pretty happy with how they turned out- especially the two dark ones.

oooohh- felty!

They were still on my mind last night as I drifted off to sleep- and sometime in the night my brain pieced it together- how I might assemble a felt version of my knitted sheep puppet.

And so this morning Flora and I got down to it.

Flora helping with pattern drafting
She was such a good sport!

Once I’d settled on pattern shapes that looked like they would work, I was amazed to find that they actually both fit on a single sheet of my felt!

And here are the pieces cut out

front and back pieces

I also needed to cut out two additional ear pieces, that would be attached to the front piece before the rest of the assembly. Here is the inside once completely sewn together-

Took me a couple tries to get the assembly right. I thought at first it would be easier to do by hand, but I’m not an especially tidy hand-sewer, and so the machine turned out to be a much better option.

And here is my right-side-out sheep!

front
back

I’m so excited about this little felty sheep. She’s a little bit slighter in build than Flora (due to seam allowances) but I think that gives her a very endearing “little lamb” type of look. Can’t wait to give her a face and some embroidered embellishment!

Sampling and Swatching

I came home from Whidbey last week with some fabulous alpaca fiber, which was just begging to be washed up and taken for a test spin-

Luna (White) and Emma (Chestnut)

So I spent a little time getting a feel for it. I hadn’t spun straight alpaca for quite a while, and it’s got a very different feel from wool.

My first attempt was not bad, but too thick. I was spinning on Sigrid, my slanty scandinavian wheel, and her doubledrive configuration didn’t permit me to get enough twist into the singles to make a lighter weight yarn.

My second try was on Moto, my e-spinner at about 640 rpm. Closer this time, but once it was plied up I still wasn’t happy with the twist. Needed more in both the singles and the ply to give the yarn more body.

So I cranked Moto up to about 750 rpm for another go- and this time I think I’ve hit the mark.

It’s knitting up nicely on size 2s at a gauge of 6.5 stitches/inch. So that’s cool.

Also took some time on the 4th to play around outside with lots of soap and water and wool make some sheets of felt.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about what all I could turn these felt sheets into. Pillows, bags, toys, etc-

Yesterday I was thinking about different ways that I could turn a flat sheet into a hat. Here is my first effort-

First I cut the sheet into a spiral- then I laced it back up, baseball style, easing it into a round shape. Here is the view from the top-

Then I re-felted it to size it down a little bit. I kind of thought that the re-felting might tighten up the yarn I laced it with, but that didn’t work like I expected, so I might have to reinforce the joins a bit. But it was a fairly successful experiment. Not sure I’ll do more hats this way (might be easier to wet felt them into that shape directly) but it was useful getting some practice working with felt as a material. Hope to do more of this throughout the summer!

Returned from The Island

Just got back from 3 lovely, fibery days on South Whidbey with my knitting peeps.

I stopped on my way there and picked up some goodies for later at Abundant Earth Fiber Mill

And a fun sampler pack of east friesan wool

Which I dove into right away and spun up into a crazy cool skein

Some scenes from our comfy spot in Maxwelton-

View from the dining area over the bluff to Useless Bay

View to the east over the Alpaca pastures

Visiting with the ‘Pacas

And- I actually got a fair bit of knitting done! Here is the complete back of “Forest”

I got some ‘Paca fiber too, just before leaving- more on that next week!