Category: Happenings

Come see what’s going on!

Flatter

Flatter

FREE Crochet Pattern!

Flatter Collage

The free Felici on the Double cowl pattern was such a big hit! So how about a new free crochet pattern to welcome in the Spring that surely MUST be coming! Free is good, yeah? Yeah.

This youth summer hat is the perfect canvas to show off your style! Gorgeous left as-is, it can also hold all the flowers, feathers, ribbons, and accoutrements you want. The sky’s the limit! I’ve been able to wear this hat myself, no problem, but I realize that not everyone has the same sized head. Therefore, I have named it a youth hat. Should you choose to add more increases, I fully support you! 

If you love this pattern- or even just kinda like it- you can get a printable .pdf here

If you want to check out my other patterns, I think you’ll like them!

Flatter: free crochet pattern for you!

Free crochet pattern

Stitches:  ch, sl, SC, SCblo, DC

Yarn:  DK weight, 100 yards (I used one ball of WeCrochet’s Cotlin, and had some left over)

Hook:  I/9, or size needed to obtain gauge

Sizes:  Youth 18”

Gauge: After round 2, your circle should be 2.5” across

Brigit Flatter

**NOTES: Always start your round in the very first stitch, which is the same stitch you joined in. Also, I always use a Standing DC as my first stitch, but you can use a ch 3 or  whatever you prefer.**

Here we go!

Pattern:

Start with a magic ring, or ch 4 and sl st in first ch to join into a ring.

Round 1) 12 DC in ring. Join.  = 12 DC

Round 2) 2 DC in each st around. Join.  = 24 DC

Round 3) *DC in next st, 2DC in next st* around. Join.  = 36 DC

Round 4) *DC in next 2 sts, 2DC in next st* around. Join.  = 48 DC

Round 5) *DC in next 3 sts, 2DC in next st* around. Join.  = 60 DC

Round 6) *DC in next 5 sts, ch 1, sk 1* around. Join.  = 50 DC, 10 ch-1 sps

Round 7) *DC in next 4 sts, ch 1, sk 1 st, DC in ch-1 sp* around. Join. 

Round 8) *DC in next 3 sts, ch 1, sk 1 st, DC in ch-1 sp, DC in next st* around. Join.

Round 9) *DC in next 2 sts, ch 1, sk 1 st, DC in ch-1 sp, DC in next 2 sts* around. Join.

Round 10) *DC in next st, ch 1, sk 1 st, DC in ch-1 sp, DC in next 3 sts* around. Join. 

Round 11) Sl into ch-1 sp, *DC in ch-1 sp, DC into next 4 sts, ch 1, sk 1 st* around.

Round 12) Repeat round 7

Round 13) Repeat round 8

Round 14) SC in each st and ch-1 sp around. Join.  = 60 SC

Round 15) *SCblo in next 3 sts, 2 SCblo in next st* around. Join. = 75 SC

Round 16) SC around. Join.  = 75 SC

Rounds 17-20) Repeat Round 16

Cut yarn. Weave in ends. Embellish as you wish, or leave as is. Enjoy your hat!

Brigit Flatter Profile
Gayl Flatter

Sati Glenn, owner and operator of Rows and Roses Fiberworks. 

Email: sati@rowsandroses.com

Website: www.rowsandroses.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/rowsandrosescrochet

Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/stores/rows-and-roses

Spinning Yarn

Spinning Yarn

Taking a Braid for a Spin

Spinning

Spinning yarn is one of those things that so many people find to be amazing. Myself included! Lots of people who are into other fiber arts, such as knitting and crocheting, seem to believe that spinning yarn is beyond the realm of reasonable activities to take up. Spinning is something from the olden days, right? Why would I spend time spinning yarn when I can order thousands of different types of yarn, and get whatever I want already made? 

Well, let me tell you, spinning is a glorious adventure if you’re looking for a new way to enjoy your fiber arts! While there is certainly a learning curve, it isn’t actually “hard” to do. You can find prepared fiber in all kinds of braids or batts, you can purchase different types of fibers and blend your own mix, or you can even take the wool right off a sheep or alpaca and spin it in the grease!

Different put-ups for different spins

My favorite way to spin is from a braid of fiber already prepared for me. Sometimes I purchase a bare braid and dye it myself, and sometimes I get it already dyed by a favorite dyer, such as Kim Russo of Kim Dyes Yarn. When you’re spinning yarn from a braid, you will undo part of the braid and pull off a section, usually splitting the section into two or three narrow strands.

You can find prepared braids in all different types of fibers! My favorite is merino/silk, with pure Polwarth being a close second. I also enjoy alpaca blends (such as alpaca/silk, or alpaca/bamboo.) While I have certainly spun pure Merino before, I don’t enjoy it as much as when it is blended with another fiber, due to Merino’s short staple length. Getting to play with different types of fibers is so much fun!

Braid of Merino

Batts are another fun option for spinning yarn. Batts are made by carding different fibers together into a fluffy blend, kinda like a “cloud” of fiber. You can then take chunks off the batt and spin them however you wish. I’ve had batts before that were alpaca, mulberry silk, mohair locks, Angora, and stellina (sparkle strands) all mixed together to make an absolutely stunning blend of color and texture. While I have more trouble getting a uniform yarn from batts, I do so enjoy the fun of them! They always make for an interesting spin. As do rolags and p-rolags, but perhaps those are a post for another day…

Braid of Merino/Bamboo/Silk

Wheel vs. Spindle

spinning wheel
My sweet little baby wheel <3

Honestly, I kinda feel like the wheel vs. spindle is a whole other post by itself, too, so I’m only going to touch on a couple of things here.

First, a spindle (also called a drop-spindle) is basically a dowel threaded through a center hole in a round weight. Like a pencil through a donut, only tightly anchored. The round weight can be wood, stone, Fimo clay, or just about anything else you can think of. You hook your fiber around a hook in the top of the dowel, and you spin the whole thing either between your fingers or by running it down the side of your leg. When you get a long length of yarn spun, you wind it around the shaft. This is my prefered method of spinning, as spindles are inexpensive and easily portable.

I am not quite familiar enough with spinning wheels to talk much about them. I have a small one that doesn’t work, and intend to get a larger one that does sometime in the future. The reason I haven’t made the plunge yet is because A) they’re expensive (the cheapest being at least a few hundred bucks, and I’ve seen some go for upwards of $5,000) and B) they take up a good bit of space. For years, my spindles have served me well, so I’m in no rush. Eventually it’ll happen, when I have the money to spend and can make room in our small home.

Try it, you'll love it!

current spin
My current spin, dyed by me!

In summary, if you haven’t yet tried to spin your own yarn, you really should give it a go! There are lots of places online where you can find high-quality hand-dyed spinning fibers, as well as handmade spindles. There are books on spinning, videos to get you started, and I’m always just an email away.

Spinning is relaxing (once you get the hang of it) and it really is so much fun to be able to play with all different types and blends of fibers.

If this post inspires you to try your hand at spinning, I’d love to see your pics! Post in the facebook group, or on instagram, and hashtag them RowsAndRosesSpin so I can see what you’ve got going on!

January RoundUp

January RoundUp

FOs, Patterns, and Other News

Here at Rows and Roses, I always have so much stuff going on. I want to start doing a roundup post near the end of each month showing finished objects, newly published patterns, and sneak peeks to look forward to in the coming months.

How about let’s start with a bunch of FOs? Here are a bunch of items I finished this month. Some are for me, some are for customers, and some are for a couple of Ravelry challenges I joined this year. They are by no means ALL of the things, but they’re a great little bundle of yarn joy, aren’t they?

Pattern Release: FOTD Hat

The Felici On The Double cowl pattern has done SO WELL! In fact, it surprised me- and surprises me, still- how much everyone seems to love it. The CAL is still going strong, with so many different color combos and creative yarn subs. I just knew we needed more FOTD patterns.

I give you Felici On The Double hat! This hat is worked just like the cowl, except it’s in the round, and includes some decreases. The decreases took me a while to get perfect in order to retain the chevron striping (a plain round crown would have been way easier, but who wants that??) 

We are currently voting on the February CAL and KAL in the Ravelry group, and so far, this hat is winning the CAL votes. Come join us!

Never a dull moment

Besides this new pattern release, I’ve also sent in pattern proposals to WeCrochet and Knit Picks. Seven, to be exact. I’ve got proposals in for hats, tops, cowls, and a super cute garland. If even half of these patterns are accepted, I’m gonna be one busy yarny for a while (like I’m not already?? Haha!) 

You can keep up with all the goings-on in the facebook group, and don’t forget that the blog is updated fairly regularly, as well. Check out the new posts from this month on the importance of craft-alongs, and different sheep breeds and the types of wool we get from them. The Rows and Roses Calendar stays up to date at least two months out at all times, so you’ll never miss an event if you remember to check it on occasion.

Types of Wool

Types of Wool

Different breeds for different types of wool

I want to tell you something you may not know. You ready? Okay: not all wool is created equal. Did you know that? Think about it… there are so many different kinds of sheep out there. Not just pure breeds, either, but all kinds of crosses, too! From Dorsets to Corriedale, and everything in between, there are so many kinds of sheep that give us wool. This means, of course, that different breeds give us different types of wool. Some is rugged and best suited to outerwear, while others are soft and delicate, and perfect for wearing against your skin. The old wool sweaters you were forced to wear as a child? Yeah, that’s not what I mean when I talk about wool. If you want to know about a few of my favorite types of wool, read on!

(If you are interested in checking out some other blog posts of mine about wool/fiber, you can find them here and here.)

Blue-faced Leicester (BFL)

The Blue-faced Leicester (pronounced “Lester”) has, you guessed it, a blue face! Well, they’re blue all over really, underneath their fleece. 

The BFL is a breed of longwool sheep, with a soft white fleece that is excellent for wearing next to skin. The wool has a sheen to it reminiscent to silk, and is very strong. It is a popular choice for cloth diaper covers, and makes an excellent sweater.

Merino

Merino Collage

Merino sheep can be found all over the world. From Spain to Russia to Australia, and even here in the US.

Merino is considered the creme de la creme of wool, with the softest fibers you can find anywhere among sheep. Merino is the number one wool for wearing against the bare skin, as it has zero itch factor.

 

The short staple length makes merino difficult to spin on it’s own, but certainly not impossible. It felts and dyes exceptionally well, and can be used for garments and accessories. It is hands-down the most popular wool used for baby and child items as it is buttery soft and smooth.

Corriedale

Corriedale sheep originally hail from the Australia/New Zealand region, but have been shown to adapt to all kinds of climates.

They produce a very long stapled wool. The fleece is heavy and hearty, very thick and with moderate bounce and “fluff.”

Corriedale wool is considered next-to-skin soft. It’s great for spinning and felting, as well as dying as it readily soaks up color.

CorriedaleCollage

Dorset

Dorset collage

Dorset sheep are an interesting breed. Apparently Dorsets came about due to the cross-breeding of the Merino with the Horned Sheep of Wales.

Dorsets are, in fact, meat sheep. However, they produce an excellent wool. This short-staple and springy wool, while some find it acceptable for next-to-skin wear, is a strong and thick fiber. This makes Dorset perfect for rugged outerwear.

Peruvian Highland

Peruvian Highland wool is one of my all-time favorite wools! These sheep are an interesting crossbreed of Corriedale and Merino.

The wool sports the strength of Corriedale, offering resilience and bullet-proof wear perfect for outer garments, such as jackets. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a rough wool. The Merino shines through in it’s softness, making it a popular wool to be worn next to the skin in cowls, mitts, and sweaters.

Due to the Corriedale, Peruvian Highland wool also has a longer staple fiber length, making it much easier to spin than pure Merino. This wool is really an all-star pick for just about anything!

peruvian highland sheep

Just the tip of the iceburg

Be assured that these are certainly not all, but just a few of the breeds that really speak to me. I have been in love with wool for as long as I’ve been crafting with yarn. Different types of wool are suited to different purposes, but they are all remarkable. From being anti-microbial, to absorbent, to feltable, to insulating, wool is really a miracle fiber and I long to learn more and more as I go. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and gained a better understanding of different types of wool. If you know of someone who might find value in it, please share ♥

Craft-alongs

Craft-alongs

Why community is so important

I’ve always been quick and easy to make friends. All my life, I’ve enjoyed getting to meet up with other humans and hang out and chat. I love getting to know people: their interests, their stories, what makes them tick. Sharing my thoughts and ideas, and interests and plans, is very important to me when connecting with people. If I’m currently feeling the urge to get creative in the kitchen, I seek out others who love to cook. When we’re struggling through a difficult time in our homeschool, I reach out to homeschool communities locally and on facebook to share my frustrations and get new ideas, as well as gain a new perspective. Human beings connecting with other human beings- REALLY connecting and not just smiling and sipping coffee and remarking on the weather- is the single most important thing in life that I can think of. It’s no wonder then that craft-alongs are one of my very favorite things to do.

What are craft-alongs?

When I think of craft-alongs, I think specifically of crochet-alongs (CALs,) knit-alongs (KALs,) spin-alongs (SALs,) and weave-alongs (WALs.) I’m sure there are other craft-alongs out there, but these are what I’m into since I’m a yarny. 

In a CAL, for instance, a group of us get together and pick a crochet pattern- or pattern type- and then we all crochet it at the same time. We share our yarn choices, our pictures of our works in progress (WIPs,) and we ask questions and encourage each other. It’s a great way for crocheters to connect with each other and gain inspiration and offer help. Furthermore, it gives us the sense of community and  camaraderie that many of us so crave. We laugh and cut up, and just have an all around great time. There is really something to be said for doing the same thing with a bunch of other people, all over the world, at the same time.

Craft-alongs for motivation

Sometimes I just want to make something different. Or sometimes I need to make something custom ordered and just really don’t know about this pattern or design. Possibly, I’m scared of messing it up. Then again, I could just be in a creative rut. 

Craft-alongs to the rescue! I love joining into a community of other makers who are making the same thing. I’ve found it especially helpful during a daunting project to be able to chat about our experiences with the pattern. If anyone has questions, they ask in the group and everyone else chimes in with their helpful answers. Errors happen in patterns sometimes, and when someone catches it, posting in the -along helps everyone else who hasn’t made it that far yet.

Rockstar Ravelry

If you’re looking to join a craft-along or two, my advice to you is the check out Ravelry. This website is FULL of everything yarn. From their massive database of knitting and crochet patterns, to their forums full of groups of every kind of yarn crafting imaginable, Ravelry has it all. I have a group there for Rows and Roses, and we actually have a CAL for my Felici on the Double cowl going on right now! Pictures are being shared and encouragement is being given as we speak. Please come join us, we are having so much fun! It’s free to join, and only takes a second (username and password. Done!) You can create project pages for everything you knit or crochet, find groups of people for just about anything you can think of, and I’ve never seen so many patterns in my life. Many of them are free! Come join our community, cast your voice with the rest, and show us what you’re working with!

Small Business Homeschool

Small Business Homeschool

Running a small business, homeschooling, and finding balance

Every year, I do this thing that probably seems crazy to anybody paying attention: I reopen my business with a great big event AND I start a new homeschooling year. In January. Yes, both of them, in the same month. Like an absolute crazy person. People ask me all the time how I could possibly teach a full year of school to two kids each year while also staying on top of all the orders, all the writing and publishing of patterns, all the testing and samples, all the package weighing and shipping, and everything else that comes with running a business. Believe it or not, it’s actually not all that hard. The trick is finding balance. This is what small business homeschool looks like for us.

December = Planning

school and work

Let me back up. I have two kids (not counting my 20 year old who lives on his own out of state at the moment.) We are a homeschooling family. Each year, we plan our school year from mid-January to mid-October. Therefore, we school through the summer when all the fun outings and events are taking place (the library puts on summer reading activities, the museums do special summer camps, etc.) and take the winter off for baking and holiday gatherings. We’ve been homeschooling both kids since Kindergarten. This year Rose will be in 5th grade and Isaiah will be in 8th grade, so we’ve been doing this for a while. We tweak things a little every year, but for the most part, this is what works for our family. 

I also own and operate a business out of my home. Rows and Roses, have you heard of it? 😉 December is the month each year that I close up shop so I can focus on stitching up stuff for myself and my family, finish up any patterns I’ve been writing, and start planning for the next year. A whole year’s worth of event and pattern ideas get jotted down, to be fleshed out later. New projects go into the early planning phases. Yarn gets reorganized, as well as all the loose printed patterns that have been junking up the place. The Christmas Crunch is a month long event here in my house.

 So basically, lots of things that have been neglected for too long get taken care of in December. Therefore, it makes sense that having this time off from both work AND school really pays off. I can take it easy from deadlines and social commitments, refocus,  and spend some time deep-thinking and reevaluating where we are and where I’d like us to be. This is also a great time to have conversations with the kids: what they loved, what they didn’t, and what they’d like to try next.

Routines and schedules. Seriously.

The part that I think really has a lot of people scratching their heads is figuring out how to cram everything into the time we have every day. We’ve got 6 subjects and 3 electives per child, as well as field trips and playdates. Plus all the businessy stuff (businessy stuff: it’s not just “yarn.” It’s website maintenance, two groups to moderate, classes to plan, patterns to write, packages to weigh, labels to print…) Add to that three meals a day prepared and cleaned up after, laundry, phone calls and texts, and family time that isn’t school….. how does that even all happen in a day??

lists

Before lunch, homeschool. After lunch, business.

Routines, schedules, and lists, my friend. Erin Condren Life Planners are my everything! Here’s the morning routine that my kids and I drew up for this year. I’m sure we’ll tweak it as we go to figure out what our new normal will be. They grow, we change, and it’s different every year.

  • 7am- Mom wakes up. Coffee, computer stuff, setting intentions for the day.
  • 8am- Wake Isaiah. He showers while I make breakfast.
  • 8:30ish- Isaiah wakes Rose. We eat and enjoy coffee together while discussing plans for the day.
  • 9am- Mom showers while kids do chores and get ready for school.
  • 9:30ish- school til lunch. If this is a morning field trip/class/club day, then that counts as school (we’re about 60% unschooling around here)

Lunch is really laid back around here. We eat whenever we finish school, and then the rest of the day is my work day. A lot of the kids’ school work is self-led, so while they’re doing some of the things they can do by themselves, I wash breakfast dishes or throw in some laundry. After we eat lunch, I put any lunch dishes in the sink to soak. I’ll wash them sometime before supper.

They take our dog out to play if it’s nice outside, and then they have free time for the rest of the day to do whatever they want. This is when I work. I check all of the Rows and Roses groups and pages and accounts, do whatever needs to be done on the website or for the newsletter, and get to work knitting/crocheting/dying/weaving/spinning. I try to keep a few different types of projects going at once so as not to wear out my wrist crocheting, or wear out my back weaving, or wear out my eyes and fingers typing. I’ll crochet for maybe 30 minutes, then go move some laundry over to the dryer. After that I’ll do a little more computer stuff, then spin a little on my current handspun project. Some days I set up Weaverly Marsh, and I’ll go back and forth weaving for half an hour, then knitting for half an hour. Check the mail, plan a blog post, check in on the CAL, call my mom, crochet some more. This is how I keep going until supper.

Flexibility is everything

Of course, some days are different. If we have an afternoon field trip or playdate, I make sure to put my most portable project into a project bag, along with hook/needles, scissors, pattern, etc. and hang it with my purse the night before. These are the days I try to get supper in the crock pot while making breakfast, that way I don’t have to take the time to cook when we get home. Therefore, I plan all breakfasts and suppers a week in advance, always checking my planner to see which nights need to be crock pot nights, or which mornings need to be grab-and-go breakfasts. I don’t want to ever make my kids miss an event or a class or a meeting that they want to attend just because I have to work, so I always make sure to have something that I can take with me. Sometimes it’s yarn, sometimes it’s a notebook and pen for planning a blog post or yarn order or crochet class.

In conclusion, small business homeschool may not always be easy, but it is absolutely doable. This is what has always worked for us so far. I do not think I have all the answers by any means, and every family is different in what they do and how they work best. I hope I’ve been able to at least give you some ideas to help you on your journey. If you’ve found value in this post, please share it. Word of mouth is everything, and I appreciate you all so much ♥

Christmas Crunch

Christmas Crunch

When blessings meet “curses!”

christmas crunch

Welcome to my holiday love affair with insanity, what I like to call the Christmas Crunch. This time of year, I’m reflecting on the year ending and planning the year coming, as well as baking like a madwoman. I’ve got about seven different kinds of cookies to make, a gingerbread cake, a blanket to finish before Santa comes, a pair of socks to knit that I haven’t even started yet….. Pour me a bourbon, okay? I don’t drink anymore, but I’m starting to rethink it.

 Wanna see what the 2019 Christmas Crunch is looking like? Let’s start with the blessings, since it’s so important to remember just how lucky we all are.

A gift from a new friend

wecrochet gift

I might be the luckiest person alive right now. A new friend decided to send me a Christmas present, but when she was asking for my address, she made it sound like it was just a ball of yarn. Therefore, I didn’t think the great big box that arrived yesterday was mine. I had already received all the yarn I had ordered this year, and thought this must be a mistake. Imagine my surprise (and happy tears!)

Inside, I found 4 skeins of the brand new sock yarn from WeCrochet called “Muse,” seven balls of the new Dishie Twist that I have been eyeing enviously since they released it, a bunch of solid Dishie to go with it, and four balls of the super-exclusive Felici colorway “Present.” You can only get Present with a $75 purchase, so this is HUGE! There was also an amazing WeCrochet project bag, a copy of their new magazine (the samples I crocheted for them are in it!) and Sparkles the Unicorn enamel pin. I have never been so overwhelmed with gratitude, and I am so thankful for this chick I can’t even find the words to express myself ♥

Planning a new class

With the new 2020 year on the horizon, there is so much planning to do! One of the more exciting things coming up is thanks to the lovely Melissa at Green Heart Awakening. GHA and R&R have partnered up to offer local crochet classes! These classes are one-on-one, one day available per month, and all materials are included. Each day we do them, there will be 4 slots available on a first come, first served, basis. The class is 90 minutes long, with an optional follow-up and lifetime email support. If you or someone you know is interested in learning to crochet and are local to the Pendleton, SC area, please check out the class listing here.

learn to crochet class

And now, the curse

Well well well, whatdoyaknow? I have a hooking injury, right in the middle of allllllll this yarn I need to work up. This could not have come at a worse time. Two Christmas presents still to do, the Felici On The Double cowl rage going strong, and I’m laid up with a hurt wrist. How will I get all of this stuff accomplished? I wonder if I can learn to hook with my feet… Oh well, what can you do? I guess I’m just going to try to laugh it off as my luck and have faith that it’ll all work out. There may be a couple of New Year’s presents coming up if they don’t get done before Christmas, but that’s okay. It’ll have to be.

Christmas Crunch will pass

Just like it does every year. This is such a fun and exciting time, and never without it’s wrenches thrown into the gears. I should be used to it by now. I’m going to go fix a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and a candy cane, take a few deep breaths, and remind myself just how fortunate I am to be able to do this at all. Working from home, for myself and not a boss, homeschooling my kids, enjoying my home and pets, and looking forward to emerging from hibernation in about a month to rejoin the world and all of my wonderful friends. Thank you all so much for being here ♥

Spun In The Grease

Spun In The Grease

Prepping Greasy handspun yarn

handspun

Not too long ago, my dearest friend and fellow yarnie Sarah sent me home with some handspun yarn. Wool, for sure, but what kind is anyone’s guess. She had gotten it from a friend who had gotten it from someone else, and apparently nobody knew what to do with it. Therefore, it was passed on down the line, ending with me. This yarn is lovely, spun by someone who clearly knew what they were doing. There was one little problem… It was spun in the grease.

Now that’s not ALWAYS a problem; plenty of spinners choose to spin in the grease. In fact, I’ve done it once myself (and hated every minute, haha.) I knew when she handed it over and I felt it, that I was going to have to do some serious cleaning up of this yarn before I could use it for anything. So now, since I’m in the middle of my annual psycho-creative period,  you get to follow along with me on a mini-adventure where we learn what it means for a yarn to be spun in the grease, how to clean it up, and why. While we’re at it, we’re also going to measure and reskein this lovely sheepy stuff as it came with no tags and I need to know what we’re working with. 

What does it mean to be spun in the grease?

handspun

As we all know, wool comes from sheep. Sheep produce lanolin, a waxy coating that keeps their wool water resistant. This is why wool diaper covers are usually lanolized: lanolin is added to the diaper cover so that it doesn’t leak.

Sometimes, when a sheep is sheered and the fleece is skirted, it is then  spun without being washed first. This is called “spinning in the grease.” I’ve done it one time and one time only, and I hated every minute! My hands felt like they had had a spa treatment, sure, but the experience was a weird mixture of gooey/creamy/crunchy. Not to mention that raw lanolin has a very strong scent. Not bad, exactly, but STRONG!

Let's get this stuff clean!

This yarn is very heavily greasy, so I knew it was going to take more than a quick wash to get all this lanolin out. I filled my plastic tub with hot water and a big squirt of original Palmolive dish soap. I was only able to comfortably fit two skeins at a time, so everything I did, I had to do again. Let me tell you, this was no easy washing. I had to fill the tub with hot water and dish soap TWICE and then rinse in clear hot water for both sets of skeins. 

After the final rinse, I squeezed out as much water as I could, and then took them out onto the deck and gave them a good twirling to spin out the rest of the water. They were then hung on hangers to dry in the laundry room. The yarn still felt a bit waxy, but at this point I’m thinking they should be clean enough to knit or crochet with. I can always wash the finished product really, really well before blocking, and the wool wash I use on finished objects is amazing. It really gets everything super clean! So this will be good enough for now.

washing handspun

And now we have a problem...

After roughly 48 hours, this gorgeous yarn was dry and ready to be measured and reskeined. I got out the swift, ball winder, and my yardage counter so that I could find out how much yarn I’m working with.

OMG

 

damnit

This yarn is so coarse, so thick, and still so loaded with lanolin (after TWO dish soap washes HOW???) that it BROKE MY FREAKING COUNTER! Okay, so it’s a cheap-ass counter anyway and I’ve been telling myself I need to get another one. But I don’t HAVE another one right now. Ugh.

Feeling somewhat disgusted right now. That’s okay, gonna keep going. I finally got all four skeins wound into balls, and decided to just leave them as is to save myself the hassle of reskeining. Furthermore, I can knit or crochet directly from the center-pull balls so reskeining would actually be hurting me anyway. At this point, I’m finished. And I need a new (and better) yarn meter, so off to make a purchase. Now I get to try to figure out what this yarn wants to be. Mitts, maybe? I’m thinking yes because if worn on the hands, the lanolin in this still-greasy yarn will offer a built-in spa treatment, and who wouldn’t want that?

finished winding

Spread the word!

Did you enjoy this post? Did you learn anything new? Got some questions, or maybe feedback. Let’s hear it! You can always get me through the contact form on the website, or through comments here on the post. If you feel so inclined, I’d be eternally grateful for a facebook share, pin, tweet, or IG of this post. Every little action you takes helps R&R to grow ♥

Felici On The Double Cowl

Felici On The Double Cowl

FREE crochet pattern!

Felici cowl

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am giving you all this Felici On The Double Cowl crochet pattern I wrote, for free. I am so thankful for you! If you don’t know about Felici, this is a Knit Picks Special Reserve yarn that only stocks twice a year, and is much loved and coveted by Felici lovers such as myself. In fact, we tend to be known for never using it, in fear that no pattern we choose will do it justice. In my humble opinion, this pattern does! If you decide to crochet this cowl, please hit the “favorite” button and create a project page on Ravelry. There are precious few crochet patterns written specifically for Felici, and I’m hoping to remedy that. On to the pattern!

Get your printable .pdf copy of this pattern for just $1.99 and help support my little business!

**Find the matching hat pattern HERE **

Felici On The Double Cowl

Crochet Cowl

Materials:    Hook size I/5.5mm, 2 balls of Felici (can be same or different colorways)

Before you get started:

~ This pattern is written for two strands of yarn held together at the same time.

~ There is a strangeish stitch here where you work a DC2tog decrease over 3 sts instead of two. Basically you will skip the middle of the 3 sts completely, working your decrease into the 1st and 3rd sts.

~ The ch 2 at the beginning of each row does NOT count as a stitch.

Gauge is not important, just know that you may have to stop a row early if you use a bigger hook or get a bigger gauge. No big deal 🙂 For more on why gauge IS usually important, check out this post.

My finished cowl was 8″ wide by 28″ circumference. Your size may vary, and this is okay! This pattern is meant to be laid back and stress free, so don’t overthink it!

 

felici cowl

Time to get hookin'!

Instructions:

  • ch 33, with both strands held together
  • Foundation row: 2DC in 2nd ch from hook, *DC in next 3 chs, DC2tog over next 3 chs skipping middle one, DC in next 3 chs, 3DC in next ch** repeat * to ** to end, ending with only 2DC in last ch. Turn. = 31 sts
  • Ch 2, 2DC in first st, *DC in next 3 sts, DC2tog over next 3 sts skipping middle st, DC in next 3 sts, 3DC in next st** repeat * to ** to end, ending with only 2 DC in last st. Turn. = 33 sts

Repeat previous row until almost out of yarn (I got 48 rows.) Then, line up ends and sl st together to form the cowl. Weave in ends. Was this the easiest thing ever?

felici cowl

I can’t wait to see your color combos! Post your finished object on facebook or instagram with the hashtag #FeliciOnTheDouble so we can all be inspired!
I hope you enjoy this Felici On The Double Cowl FREE crochet pattern. Writing patterns is time-consuming and labor intensive, so I don’t often offer them for free. Please, if you love this pattern, share this post! Share on facebook, link from your blog, or share in Ravelry forums. We need more Felici crochet patterns, so let’s help get this one out there! ♥

I have uploaded a .pdf version of this pattern to Ravelry to make it easier to print and take with you. For the month of January (2020) you can get it free using the code CAL when you check out. Otherwise, it’s just $1.99 like all my patterns. Thanks for your support! Get it here

Playing With Yarn

Playing With Yarn

My annual explosion of creativity

pile of yarn

Warm Fuzzies has come and gone. The customs list is closed for the year. All the stocking stuffers are finished and shipped, and there are a few things left in the shop. Do you hear that sound? That’s the sound of free yarn time… Indeed, playing with yarn has never felt so glorious as when there are no deadlines to meet, no parameters, no expectations. Just creativity. Just art.

Every year, I look forward to having free time to create for myself and my family. Rows and Roses always closes down for December, and this year, December came a week early! From now until the start of 2020, I will be spinning, dying, knitting, crocheting, and weaving all of things I’ve been thinking about all year long. In addition to all of these items that will hopefully be falling off my hook and needles and loom, I will also be writing a pattern or two, and making big plans for the Grand Reopen 2020. Wanna see some of the things I’m working on?

Playing with yarn, Felici style!

crochet felici

If you are familiar with Knit Pick’s Felici, then you know this yarn is not to be trifled with. A special reserve self-striping sock yarn, Felici is only stocked twice a year, and it FLIES off the shelves! Felici hoarders are known as a special breed of yarnie: we stalk the website when it’s supposed to stock, and then it’s a free for all, grabbing all we can. Once we receive our packages of the stripy string, we tend to be too afraid to use it, worrying that no pattern will do it justice. So we just take it out and pet it, impatiently waiting for the next stocking 6 months later.

Not this little hooker! I decided to dive deep into my Felici stash and came out with Soft Serve, to go with my more newly acquired Coffee Break. I’m holding the two together to create a crocheted marled scarf of my original design. Although, the yardage may actually turn this into a cowl instead. We shall see! So far, I am absolutely loving the way this looks.

The Neverending Sweater

Way back in….. June? Maybe? I bought a value pack of Hawthorne called Dark Mood. It came with 6 skeins of yarn in dark burgundy, red, greys, and black. All very pretty individually, but together… WOWZA! I had to have it. Of course, I had no idea what I was going to use it for. As I was browsing on Ravelry, I came across a knit sweater pattern called Ink. This sweater, as I recall, seemed to me to be an absolute marvel. A cabled monstrosity! Ink would be difficult, possibly a trial and tribulation, that would either send me home crying or greatly raise my skill level. You know me, I had to at least try. Furthermore, I had to put my own spin on it by making the fade sequence exactly what I wanted in a sweater. Here is my progress so far ——>

I’m not gonna lie, it’s tedious and tiresome at times. Boy I am really learning a lot from it though, and I can’t wait to wear it! So I’m trudging along, eating this elephant one bite at a time….. I sure hope it’s finished by next fall.

Weaverly Marsh is back at it!

weaverly marsh

Sometimes, I just have to get off the couch, drop the hook and needles, and do something else. Weaverly Marsh, my new(ish) rigid heddle loom, saves the day! After my Blue Willow kitchen set came off, Isaiah and I decided that playing with the new Dishie colors was the perfect thing to do next.

We settled on the new Flower Girl multi, along with Jalapeno and Swan. I am seriously loving how these colors are playing together. I am a slow weaver as all the standing hurts my back, so I have to do it in short bursts. Headway is being made, however! I’m convinced that Weaverly Marsh is just what R&R needed, and I can see weaving becoming a staple here at Rows and Roses for a long time to come.

And the playing with yarn continues...

Besides everything I’ve shared here, there are so many more things going on! Like my daughter’s crocheted blanket I’m trying to finish up for Christmas, and the crazy folded hat pattern I found. Not to mention my son’s socks that he asked for, and all of the planning for the coming year. And did I tell you about all the bare yarn and new dyes I got? Or the hand-dyed pencil roving that’s coming from Kim Dye’s Yarn? Hang out with me this winter, here and in the facebook group, and you’ll see it all! What are you working on this winter? Leave a comment and let me know! And as always, if you found value in this post, please share. Every action you take helps my little yarn business grow ♥

%d bloggers like this: