A New Year

A New Year

A new year has begun and I thought it was high time that I update you on how I made out with my end of year projects. I finished them. Every last one of them and even added another pair of scrappy DK socks for Dave and a scrappy farm toque for myself. I used a free pattern called Two by Two pattern from Anne Gagnon for the toque. I need to thank Toby from @blomidonfarm for the inspiration on her Instagram post. Not only do Toby and I share a love for knitting, we also share a love for our Icelandic sheep. Toby sells her sheep yarn. If interested I encourage you to look her up. The pattern is available for download on Ravelry. I used size 4mm needles with 3 strands of fingering held together. When a ball ran out, I grabbed another and added it in. The hat is a little more dense than I am use to but man is it warm!

The socks were also knit up on 4mm needles but with 2 strands held together.  Same concept and Dave has claimed them as his new happy house socks. 

Tera’s fleece was spun. Hard to believe that chocolate lamb gave us the wool on the bottom right corner of the photo but that is all Tera. This was a task I wasn’t sure I would complete as it was 1500g of raw fibre and fraught with emotion.  Tera is a reflection of 2020 for us. She was one of 2 bottle babies to come into our lives in 2019. Our first Icelandic sheep. She was chocolate brown, shy and quiet. THAT didn’t last lol. Later that year we added 3 more girls to complete our first flock. In April, Tera gave us our third lamb, a ram - Oban. Summer 2020 was drought conditions. This is the first Dave had witnessed in his 20 years here in Nova Scotia. That led to poor field conditions and a significant lack of fresh greens for the sheep. What we learned far too late was that this meant they were less selective in what they ate. Two of eight sheep were poisoned by weeds. We lost Tera 3 days after we noticed she wasn’t well in spite of our efforts. Rey, our first lamb born to Sola was also poisoned but with patience and care, both from us and our amazing vet, we managed to save her from imminent liver failure. Tera’s gift to us was her son, who is the father to this coming Spring’s lambs, the knowledge that we gained during this horrible experience, the connection to excellent hay to get through the season and finally her last fleece. I cried as it took me over an hour to carefully shear her, before we buried her on the hill overlooking our farm and her legacy of babes to come. Our animals are a huge part of our life. Tera was one of our family. The fleece is art spun, had its final wash and is ready to be woven into a blanket.  

Yes, I weave!  My first love has always been knitting but 2019 and 2020 have introduced me again to a 45in Leclerc floor loom. Our hand dyed yarns have made their way into a number of shawls and blankets and when these 3 skeins came into the studio from Tyler in Alberta, I knew they had to be mine! I designed this 40x70in blanket to include our In the Nude fingering weight yarn.  There are 540 ends (strings) each cut 3 yards long. The final pattern reminds me of a pencil crayon concept drawing. This one is not for sale. It has found a place on the rocker in our bedroom.

There are new projects in the works. A pullover in colour work for me, plans for baby blankets on the loom (not for me lol) and of course another pair of socks this time in our Sugar Skull colourway. There is always something new on my needles.

Days are longer but where does our time go? While the fall was all about getting ready to keep the animals fed, warm and dry, the winter is keeping them fed warm and dry.  Water is our biggest challenge keeping the barn and coop dry means that lower temperatures are manageable. We all know a damp cold seeps to our very core. The largest challenge is keeping the drinking water from freezing. Extra time, multiple buckets and attention to the weather forecast are constant conversations between Dave and I. Our 4 ewes are hopefully expecting lambs due to arrive in April. We will keep you up to speed on “Lamb Watch 2021.” 

Photo - Sola and her friend Ernie the chicken.  Not sure but we think Sola will give us twins this Spring. Ernie on the other hand, she is our senior chicken and well, her job is to just “be” these days. She does that well.

Well, this was far more long winded than I intended so I’ll settle on that for this week. Tyler and I continue to work in the studio crafting new and revamped colours. We can’t wait to share our new treasures with you. 

Stay tuned….

Sam


2 comments

  • Ruth Andrews

    Your colours are beautiful and as soon as I finish up what I’m knitting now, I will order

  • Diane Cooper

    I just found your site (through FB ad if you were wondering for your benefit! 😉). You made me cry on my very first post I read with this lovely tribute to your lovely lamb.
    Your colours are gorgeous, and I am looking forward to ordering in the future.
    As a paramedic just outside Toronto Ontario, I feel kinship to your husband, and another draw!😉
    Your work is beautiful!

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