Thursday, October 13, 2016

OH WAIT - I keep forgetting to tell all of you that I'm signing books, patterns, bottles or whatever else you bring me - and just saying hi if you stop by - over in the book area for PomPom on Saturday.  My time is 2-4pm.  Come say hello!!

Now onto the blog post -----------------------------------------

Thanks for all the sweater love on Stone Fence! I'm so glad that you guys like it, and I will be sure to fill you in on where to find Empire after the Fair if you can't make it over to Rhinebeck this weekend for Jill Draper's Open Studio.

But you know I needed to do a few more designs, right?  One sweater wasn't going to be enough, and I love working with those creamy white and heathery gray, beautiful, sheepy skeins so very much!

The past few years, I've been lucky enough to work with FoxHill Farm's Cormo, which is just stunning. But this year I had a couple of other skeins in mind to mix things up and maybe direct you to yet another fabulous farm or two.... (You should still be stopping in and getting a few skeins of that FoxHill Cormo by the way. You can knit up a Buck's Hat or a Daisy's Hat or a Polka Knot Hat -- or maybe a Beekman Tavern?)  Or you can just sniff it and give it a squeeze and say hi to Alice.

But for those of you looking for something new to pet, my next design is a hat called Boilermaker.

I met Amy and Scott of Ross Farm Heritage Breeds this summer - they work from a historic barn in PA, and travel all around looking to add rare and specific sheep breeds to their flock. It's all about saving these breeds and continuing to make these fibers available to us, and each skein has the name of the sheep whose fleece was used right on the label.  The varied range of heathered grays was stunning and when I sat in that booth, I just could not decide.  So I got two.  And I used them together.

Hence the name.  A Boilermaker is when you decide to have both a shot of whiskey AND a beer, and this hat is for when you decide to have both the light and the dark gray.   All the details are on the Ravelry page, here.

My second new design is Brandy Alexander, a cowl in Catskill Farm's Saxon Merino. Dominique and Eugene own a farm pretty close to Rhinebeck and they raise Saxon Merino sheep, imported from Australia.  This yarn is so beautiful that I touched it and wanted it around my neck immediately. Dominique also hand dyes her yarn in gorgeous shades, but this creamy white was just perfect.  You can often find Catskill Merino yarn at the popular Union Square Farmer's Market in NYC on a sunny weekend, btw.   More details on this design can be found here.

The name Brandy Alexander is a nod to the creamy white, incredibly cozy and decadent yarn.  A Brandy Alexander contains brandy, creme de menthe and steamed milk.

3/4 oz brandy
3/4 oz creme de menthe
4 oz steamed milk
Pour ingredients in a heated mug and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.


In the hopes that you may come and check one of these farms out,  I've created a Ravelry code.  Until Tuesday 10/18, the code "farms" will get you 20% off either of these.   If you can't make it to Rhinebeck, maybe there's a farm near you or a farmer's market that sells local wool that you might just fall in love with....   

Because many farm yarns and unique and individual, I've added notes about how to modify both for either slight differences in gauge or to work for a different gauge all together.  There is much more leeway when working the cowl, but there are still ways to tweak the hat design!

Enjoy and Happy Happy Rhinebeck weekend! xo