Of Course. It’s Yours.

Many moons ago, I got this yarn in the mail from Mountain Meadow Wool, the last installment of a 3-month Legacy Yarn Club subscription.

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It is Mountain Meadow Wool’s Mountain Down, a 25% hand-pulled bison from Durham Ranch and 75% Mountain Merino from Camino Ranch, both in Wyoming. My family and I are definitely unnaturally into the plains and all the flora and fauna that live upon it, so this 25% bison yarn just had to be knit up into something special.

I ended up going with the original pattern I picked for the yarn, Elbert by Ysolda Teague. It was part of my “September of colorwork” and for reason after reason I’ve been super slow getting images up here with it. It’s definitely not for lack of love…

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Because it was a beautiful knit. The yarn was absolutely dreamy.

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But mostly I just knit it super quickly. And then it sat in limbo, without its pom for a good long while…

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You know how that goes. Life keeps happening and those little tasks keep falling between the cracks.

And then one day…

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You get that pom attached.

 

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And you’re like, “Hey, this hat is pretty rad.”

It’s not as slouchy as the pattern intends — I could have gone up a needle size, but I wanted a tighter gauge for a more winter-friendly result. It fits like a proper hat or large beanie and I think it’s just perfect. Perfect for such special yarn, perfect for winter, perfect for everyday wear.

And as I was admiring it with the newly affixed pom, my daughter walked up to me and was like, “Hey mom, can I have that hat?”

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And I said, “Of course. It’s yours.” Perfect for such a special yarn. Perfect for winter. Perfect for everyday wear. Perfect for my girl.

 

Many thanks to Mountain Mountain Wool Mill for providing this yarn to me for review!

WIPs on a Wednesday

I just finished racing to mow the lawn and as I quickly filled up the bird feeders, I glanced West and I could see a bank of clouds, my friends. And do you know what those clouds have in store for me and my little family?

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That’s right, SNOW. We’ve had flurries and little mini-squalls that have melted right away for the last few days, but today we should see an inch on the ground. Hence all the running around to get the yard tidied up. With things zipped up outside, I can in good conscience steal a moment to share my current WIPs and goings-on here.

Having finished a quick test knit over weekend after getting out of the whole birthday rush, I opted to go ahead and clean up my notions. I’m usually pretty deliberate in always promptly getting my notions back to their homes when I finish using them. I’m not someone who will just buy another needle or pair of scissors or whatever if I can’t find the one for which I’m looking. (For the record, this is not a diss if you are one of those people — I’m a true believer in ‘to each his/her own’ in this regard and that there are pros and cons either way.) No, I’m the kind of person who will tear apart the house to find the item I’m missing and it will eat away at me if I can’t find it. So yeah… I cleaned up my notions and needles and things that I was too rushed to take care of over the last couple of weeks.

In the process, I found a WIP. To be more specific, I found a WIP that is embarrassing that it is still a WIP. You see, all I need to do is attach the pom.

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Literally. It’s washed and blocked and just needs the pom secured and photos taken. So that is on my desk so I can’t forget to make it happen.

I’ve also been plugging away at my lovely Brillig

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It won’t lay flat to show you the upper edge, but I think right now the colors are the most exciting part. I think it is just so pretty and such a fun potato chip knit once you get rolling. I’m watching a number of friends shawl their FOs of this pattern in the NimbleNim SAL+KAL in the Three Waters Farm Ravelry Group and it’s kind of making me anxious, but I have to remind myself that mine is a lighter weight and higher yardage version so it’s bound to take longer. Regardless, it’s a super fun knit.

I also treated myself to a new spinning project.

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I’m happy to report that as promised I remembered to not only take photos of the prepped fiber, but I weighed and noted how I split up the braid so when it comes time to show you the skein, I’ll actually be able to tell you how I made it. Yay! This is Granite on the Three Waters Farm 60/40 Polwarth+Silk base and is is glorious — color and base alike. If all goes according to plan, it’ll wind up the warp of a new weaving project. I’m long overdue for one of those!

With this spin, I also finally discovered a good way for me to use a little spinning wheel basket I got from a booth at the WI Sheep & Wool Festival.

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It’s billed as being a basket to hang from your wheel and be used to collect vegetable matter. That is why I bought it; to discard slubs and what-not as I went and maybe contain my mess. Well, it turns out that because of my positional limitations, that function did not work at all for me as intended and I tried sitting it next to me instead, but with the handle it was more in the way than anything else.

Then I realized that it would actually be marvelous to tuck my in-progress fiber into. So when I finish up a spinning session, rather than try to stuff my attach fiber somewhere on the wheel where it inevitably gets knocked off, I can tuck the fiber into my little basket.

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Nice and tidy! Now, clearly if I was spinning directly from a braid of a bigger chunk of fiber, I would have to break off a smaller piece because the basket is small, but I usually do that anyway. I really appreciate that this helps to keep my fiber secure and because I have a length of fiber ready to go, it’s really easy to grab and start spinning again any time. And, of course, I’m delighted to put this purchase to good use.

Aside from the sock WIP I still need to positively track down (I think I know where it is, but I haven’t actually gone and checked yet) and a spindle spin that I think it hanging out with said sock WIP, I have one other project currently in the works.

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Or nearly in the works, I should say. This is a skein of Bijou Basin Ranch‘s new base, Himalayan Summit and they were kind enough to send me this skein in the Crab Nebula colorway to try out and review. I’ve got a the general plan for this yarn set in my head, but I’m still deciding between a couple wonderfully classic patterns. I’m sure I’ll be casting on shortly though. Probably as soon as I can that pom attached to my other hat.

It’s the first of November, as well, so I’m starting to think about some holiday knitting and spinning plans, too. I have one lofty, dreamy plan in my head, but I’m not entirely sure it’s feasible or wise. We all know that’s never stopped me though, right?!

What are you working on this Wednesday? And are you starting to think about holiday knitting? Feel free to chime in and share in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group!

 

 

From Wyoming, With Love

Last week I got the last of my 3 installments of the Legacy Yarn Club from Mountain Meadow Wool. Before I show you what was inside box #3 though, how about I show you what I did with what came inside box #2?

If you’ll think way back to April when this box arrived on my brand new doorstep, two skeins of Lincoln Wool dyed to match the summer skies from which it came.

I had about 350yards of this light worsted yarn to work with and I ended up picking the Pedestrian Cowl pattern for it. I knew I had an abundance of yarn for this project, but I had this feeling that the stitch pattern would work well with the yarn so I just cast-on and decided the details would work themselves out.

This was the point I knew I would knit this pattern until I ran out of yarn, plain and simple.

It’s a cool pattern because it’s really easy to commit to memory and despite having a few little decrease/increase maneuvers, it’s really delightfully simple.

You can see here, how pretty the pattern looks in the yarn…

Maybe more of a close up for you?

Of course! Because I love this slightly rustic yarn in this refreshing color knit into such a pretty little design. And in the end I eyeballed how much yarn I’d need for the garter border and I did indeed knit until I was out of yarn.

I blocked it very lightly. Even though I know the stitch pattern might have benefit from a more aggressive take on blocking, I thought a more natural look suited the overall project better. I washed it and literally laid it to dry in the sun on my deck with just the lightest touch to sharpen the basic shape.

Admittedly, it’s a little short for a scarf. At somewhere around 56-57″ long and about 8″ wide, it’s probably about 15″ shorter than the length of my average scarf. If I double it over the long way and wrap it around my neck I can just tuck the ends back through it though. This will actually be perfect under my winter coat to chase the chill away because it’s also quite warm. It was truly a lovely knit from start to finish.

Are you as excited as I was to open box #3?! Well, here you go!

I think these are my favorite skeins yet! These are a special edition of Mountain Meadow Wool’s Mountain Down, a 25% hand-pulled bison from Durham Ranch and 75% Mountain Merino from Camino Ranch, both in Wyoming. The two top skeins are hand-dyed in the “Spruce” and “Pine” colorways and the mini-skein is natural undyed. I’ve never knit with bison before, so I cannot wait to try it. This blend is extremely soft and I’m guessing it’ll be nice and warm, too. I’m not sure yet, but I’m currently flirting with the idea of turning these into a version of Ysolda Teague’s Elbert hat. I’m kind of thinking I could cast-on and maybe do one round with the natural and then work the rest of the hat in the other two colors. I’m going to mull that idea over for a bit though while I finish up a couple other works-in-progress.

I’ve really enjoyed this yarny foray into the ranches of the American West. And I have to admit, that the name, “Legacy Yarn Club” is a perfect fit — not only are you investing in the legacy of American ranching, you get to create your own heirloom, your own legacy of knitted items from it. I felt like every package could have been marked, “From Wyoming, With Love” because that’s what I felt when I opened each box — the care and thoughtfulness is laced through the local ranches, the specific info on each skein, and even the packaging. For those interested in trying out the Legacy Yarn Club or maybe just learning more about it, you can find all the info you need right here. You have until July 31st to sign up for the next delivery. Who knows what gorgeous, exotic American fibers could be headed your way!

Not Just Treading Water

This week has been all about a big push to get myself and the kids back into a routine, to attempt to make the shift from just treading water in transitionland to really settling into a normal life again. For the kids, this means regulating the bedtime and wake-up schedule, normal school hours which had been on a brief hiatus for the move, and, of course, regular walks and hikes. For me, it’s meant tackling a few writing projects & other bits of online housekeeping that had been pinned until after the move and getting back up to speed in both the Friends of Knitting Sarah and Three Waters Farm Ravelry groups. It’s Wednesday morning and I’m already exhausted.

Moose is tired, too. I could barely hear the kids reading over his snoring during yesterday’s state history lesson.

We’ve made great strides toward our own brand of normal though and that does feel great. We’ve had two good full days of school now under our belts and even made time to enjoy a rare sunny afternoon (it’s been raining forever here) with a soggy walk with Moose on another new-to-us trail…

I saw a Hairy Woodpecker and Yellow-Rumped Warblers as well as the standard Chickadees and Kinglets along the way. We’ve been delighted with the nature parks in town that offer very beautiful well-maintained yet rustic trail experiences right in town. We’ve got so many kid & dog friendly, easy to hike trails within just a couple miles of our house. I feel so spoiled!

This was a trail we tried out on Sunday…

I forgot my binoculars for bird watching, but we saw no fewer than 3 of these guys…

This one was not pleased with us so we gave the little dude a wide berth so as not to stress him further and carried on. I seriously just can’t get over the fact that it’s so close, still in town, and yet such a true trail experience. Just, wow.

I’ll add that for the first time since February I sat down in my living room, knitted, and felt relaxed. It helps that I picked out my first ever new chair last week. Mr Knitting Sarah knew I would never actually buy one without a push from him so he patiently took me and watched me Goldilocks-the-heck out of every single chair in two stores before I found it, but eventually I did find it.  I swear for my body, it’s the most comfortable chair ever created on Earth. So comfortable, in fact, that as I walked to shut the door after the delivery men…

Moose decided to claim it. Post-photo he was promptly booted off and now I’ve learned to leave stuff on it so he doesn’t get any funny ideas. Nothing against my beloved spirit animal, but it’s a nice chair and we want it to stay nice for a while. Sorry, Moose.

In addition to finally feeling relaxed and comfortable, I’ve started getting mail at the new address including the latest installment from the Legacy Yarn Club from Mountain Meadow Wool...

These skeins are both created from Lincoln fleece and are dyed to “showcase the summer skies of Montana.” Blue fiend that I am, I adore the colors and as such am being very picky about the pattern I choose for them and haven’t quite decided what I want to knit. I’ve been browsing a lot though and I have a few ideas in mind. I’ll make a choice one of these days. The caramel on top,  however, is long gone.

In the mean time, I’ve been working on a random hat…

I have 2 projects on the needles and at least 4 in progress on my wheel and yet I thought, “Hey, knitting a Wurm hat right now with this stash yarn from Sundara. That would be cool.” So I cast-on and I’m almost through it. I think with school back in full swing and knowing I’d have a busy week, I just wanted something simple and quick that I could work through easily. It’s fitting the bill perfectly.

So my friends, the boxes are all but emptied and I’m more relaxed than I’ve been in a long while. It’s a palpable shift, to have the feeling of just keeping my head above water a thing of the past. I’m knitting and spinning and reading and writing and forging on with the business of living life. And what a wonderful business that is indeed.

The Legacy Yarn Club: “Touch the West”

You know that my family and I are always up for a good adventure in our nation’s West. While we sadly had to cancel our latest trip into the sunset earlier this month, it seemed a little like fate when I got a message last week asking if I’d like to take part in Mountain Meadow Wool‘s Legacy Yarn Club. I hadn’t heard of this place, so I immediately hopped to their website to do a little research.

I discovered that Mountain Meadow Mill is a full service woolen mill located below the Bighorn Mountains of Western Wyoming. Opened to help preserve the small ranches that were struggling to survive in Wyoming, this mill is founded on the principles of fair payment for ranchers and eco-friendly, sustainable practices that serve their mission to keep the rich history of ranching alive and well in Wyoming.

Photo courtesy of Mountain Meadow Wool.

Since I’ve been leaning more and more toward handspinning and using my own handspun yarns, it should be a clear indicator that in signing up to be part of their yarn club, I think this place is pretty special. So what makes this place different? What makes Mountain Meadow Wool special? Let me tell you what sparked my interest.

Did you know?

  • Ranching in Wyoming is rooted in Basque shepherds originating in France and Spain who migrated to the West over 100years ago
  • Each skein of Mountain Meadow Wool can be traced back to a local ranch
  • Mountain Meadow Wool Mill recycles 50% of the water used during scouring
  • This mill uses “100% bio-degradable soaps” and only “non-petroleum spinning oil”
  • With a reputation for custom blending & spinning, Mountain Meadow Wool Mill has worked with both Madelinetosh and Brooklyn Tweed to create some of our favorite yarns

In fact, I didn’t even know it, but they are the mill behind yarn I have in my own home!

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Yes, these skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Plains are actually a collaboration between BT’s Jared Flood and Mountain Meadow Wool Mill.  I can give a first hand account that this is some pretty incredible yarn so I truly cannot wait to see what beauties are headed my way in the club!

So now let me take a few moments to tell you a little about the Legacy Yarn Club.

There are three themes this year for your club shipments: Breed Roundup, Taste of the Exotic, and Mountain Merino — you can read more about each theme on the yarn club page here. Each shipment will include TWO yarns and TWO patterns. You can also choose between two different “plans” — you can sign-up for 6 shipments OR you can sign-up for 3 shipments. It’s also worth noting that there are options to pay up front (and receive free shipping) or on a monthly basis. The club packages will ship in February, April, June, August, October, and December of this year. Please note that sign-ups for the full year (6 shipments) will close on January 3oth, so don’t delay if you’d like to take advantage of that offer!

If you’re in the same boat as me, dreaming of the big beautiful West and wanting to support our nation’s small ranchers and eco-friendly processing, maybe you’d like to tag along and give this club a try with me. I know I cannot wait for the first shipment to arrive in February!