Gifting No. 7 + 8 : Beanies

IMG_6471 copy.jpg

The Gifting Series is where I try to give back, in my own little handmade way, to the people in my life that are important to me.

After my father passed away last year, I've been so comforted by the thought that so many people, all over the world, have something he made. Customers, peers, friends, family. I'm hoping that I too can not only leave behind memories but tangible markers of my love, gratitude, passions and hard work. 

So, next up in my Gifting series are two hats, for each my Aunt and Uncle out in Michigan. The winters are brutal there. Whenever I think of our winters, I am thankful they aren't Michigan winters. Then I am thankful my family doesn't live in the UP, where they keep snowblowers on their roofs and have way too much "snirt," and where my Uncle says "they only have two seasons--winter and August."

Still, southern MI is plenty cold in winter and these two wooly hats are fitting for this couple. My Aunt's is a simple beanie knit with the leftovers of the Kathleen I just finished. As you can see, it pooled in a crazy pattern. Thankfully, I know my Aunt will love it regardless, but I would be frustrated if it were making the hat for myself. (And I'm grateful the cables in the Kathleen might have helped hide any possible pooling.)

And the second is for my Uncle, who put his life on hold to come out here and help us take care of my Grandmother in her final months. He also helped us, helped me, more than I can say. His encouragement, support, and love; ingenuity, craftsmanship and knowledge are very evident here at Buckaloo View Farm. For that, for him, I will always be grateful. And I hope this walnut dyed beanie helps show it, even in just a small way.

Waxing On About Walnuts

I know I just announced that the shop update is coming up (October 30th!) and showed a handful of walnut dyed goodness that was thanks to a dear friend giving me a million walnuts, but I have to wax on about those walnuts and what they've produced a little more. I think they are my favorite dye source. Not because I'm a huge fan of browns, but because they are so dependable. (Maybe it's the Taurus in me?) 

The two skeins in the 1st photo are going to be hard to part with. Normally, I have an unspoken rule that I can only keep what I call "seconds"--yarns that have a few problems, like inconsistencies, dark spots, etc, or ones that are too rare or sentimental to not keep. But, occasionally, there are perfectly sellable skeins that I want to slip, quietly into my own personal stash. It's going to be hard to ship these out but someone out there will enjoy them.

Then there is a shot of about half of the walnuts I was given.

The 3rd photo shows most of the new bases I'm debuting in this update. Yarns from New England, New Mexico, and out West; from angora goats and specific sheep breeds; organic, gently processed, etc.

Then there is a shot of the varying shades of walnut you can get--depending on fiber and amount of walnuts used.

The 5th shows nearly all the skeins I'll be adding.

Since the walnut baths were still going strong, I dropped in three skeins of mystery yellow yarn I've had for years. I caked it up and am tumbling around ideas on what to do with it.

And then there's a puppy. Because, you know... a puppy.

Now, to start an avocado bath so I can, hopefully, get some other colors besides brown in the next update! Have a great week!

On the Needles and in the Pot

The shop will be updated on October 30th at 9AM US EST. Thanks to a dear friend who gathered and brought me a million walnuts, I'll have plenty of rich brown skeins in the shop. I'll also have some new bases available--including US raised and spun, organic, and breed specific. And, there will be a few more hand knits available for those of you who don't knit but want to enjoy some naturally dyed BV yarns, like the avocado dyed fingerless mitts seen in the first photo. Check into the shop periodically over the next couple weeks to see any new "preview" listings as I get them up.

In other knitting news: I made myself a new washcloth. And I'm busy working on a new design (which I should need testers for in the coming weeks!) And itching to cast on a new one with some Quince & Co. Owl.

What have you been working on?


Winter Is Coming - About Those Socks

I've never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones. But, despite the fact that it often feels like it, I don't actually live under a rock. Winter is Coming is a phrase I've heard used over and over. But this post has nothing to do with an HBO show and everything to do with the fact that winter is literally coming and I have should have wrapped up a sock challenged I started a year ago.

Wow. Has it been a year? I remember knitting that first pair and thinking I'd eventually have twelve socks. I didn't think it'd go by so fast. In all honesty, I kind of predicted I might fizzle out in the last couple months. I'm not good at finishing things.

Altogether, I made about nine pairs. Melody surprised me with a thick, beautifully made pair of traditional Latvian socks so I'm going to count them as a get-out-of-jail-free card for July. Some are getting pretty worn while others haven't even been worn yet. 

The fact that you all joined me on this journey is the coolest. I mean, look at all of these socks! The linky hosted here on the blog has already expired, but you're very welcome to share your posts over at the sock thread at the Buckaloo View group on Ravelry. Somewhere I should try to frequent more! Thankfully, winter is coming and I should have a little more time for blog and Ravelry adventures.