A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

There seems to be a slight case of mistaken identity for the 1 ounce sample of Suffolk I had purchased.


The best place to read up on why the “gray/grey Suffolk” is not really Suffolk is in a blog post by Deb Robson, “The gray/grey Suffolk Puzzle.

I loved her final comment about the bunny near the end.  It will only take a couple minutes to read, but I think it will give you a lifetime of wool education.

Until next time…

Wool Breed: Suffolk


Image from www.raisingsheep.net

History: The Suffolk sheep became a recognized breed in 1810 from crossing Southdown rams with old-style Norfolk Horn ewes per the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook. The first documented import to North America was made in 1888.

Fleece Facts:

Size:  Ram: 275-400 pounds  Ewe: 200-300 pounds

Horns: Hornless

Fleece Weight:  4-8 pounds (1.8-3.6 kg)

Staple Length: 2-3.5 inches (5-7 cm)

Fiber Diameters:  46s to 58s by the Bradford count, 26-33 micron count.

Coloring: White.  There may be some black fibers, as these sheep have colored faces.  Any off-color fibers lower the commercial value of the wool per the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook.

Spinning:  Keep the drafting light and moderate twist to preserve loftiness.

Note: My 1 oz. sample from Woolgatherings is a grey Suffolk.  There is information in the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook that states there is a processed fiber sold as “grey Suffolk” that demonstrates few of the qualities that characterize Suffolk wool.  It goes on to say: Spinners who use it should not make assumptions about Suffolk based on their experiences with this fiber.

Good to know.  I will need to find some “true” Suffolk for sampling.

Off to read an old post by Deb Robson regarding this…I’m sure to share.

Until next time…


North Cascades

Now available on Ravelry: North Cascades


The North Cascades is a national park in Northern Washington State. I’ve created a hat to celebrate this wilderness of tree-clad mountains, glaciers and lakes full of trails, bears and gray wolves.

North Cascades is an easy, colorful knit with simple, easy to follow charting. Simple knit and purl stitches start off the corrugated ribbing into the mountains, then trees, ending with a snowy top for this warm, colorwork beanie.

Sizes include child through adults. Finished sizes allow for the traditional negative ease of hats. The stranded colorwork makes for double the warmth.

Yarn: Six colors of fingering weight wool. Sample uses Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, which can make a multiple of hats when using for colorwork.

Needle Size:
US 2 (2.75 mm) & US 3 (3.25 mm) 16” circular needles (or size to meet gauge)
US 3 (3.25 mm) double point needles (or size to meet gauge)

Gauge: 6.5 sts / inch in colorwork pattern on larger needles

Finished Measurements (with 2” negative ease): 18.5”, 20”, & 21.5”

Fits Approximate Head Size: 20,5”, 22” & 23.5”

Yak Attack!


Today I finished the plying of the Qiviut fiber I spun on Saturday.  With that drying and my Polonaise wheel set up for lace/fingering weight spinning, I grabbed the yak I found in my stash.

I have to say, I found the Qiviut fiber easier to handle and spin than this yak.  Maybe I spoiled myself for all other fibers.



Here’s a wee bit of information on Yak Down:

Staple Length: 1 1/4-2 1/4 inches (3.2-5.7 cm)

Natural Colors: Black, dark gray, white, reddish, with dark brown being the most common.

Fiber Diameter: Down, 13-22 microns

Yet another warm fiber that I will make a lace project with.

Until next time…Yak, that’s the fact, Jack!





Grab a cup of tea, your spinning wheel and fiber and take 15 minutes to enjoy this short film from the US National Archives now available on YouTube. Full credits and information available


Credit Information from YouTube:

Published on Jun 14, 2016
 "Homespun" Made by Sharon and Thomas Hudgins

This film was made with funds from the United States Information Agency's Young Filmmakers Bicentennial Grant Project.

From the USIA records: A documentary film about the traditional craft of handweaving in America. Photographed at the Hambridge Center of Weaving in southern Appalachia, the process and history of weaving is explored to the background of authentic mountain music.

Creator(s): U.S. Information Agency. 1982-10/1/1999 (Most Recent)
 Series: Moving Images Relating to U.S. Domestic and International Activities , 1982 - 1999
 Record Group 306: Records of the U.S. Information Agency, 1900 - 2003

Contact(s): National Archives at College Park - Motion Pictures (RDSM), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road
 College Park, MD 20740-6001
 Phone: 301-837-3540, Fax: 301-837-3620, Email: mopix@nara.gov

National Archives Identifier: 53137
 Local Identifier: 306.7151


Spinner’s Gold – Qiviut


For New Year’s eve, I stash dove into my collection of fibers and pulled up 1 oz. of spinner’s gold – qiviut.

I purchased it back in August 2015 when I went to visit my friend, Larraine, up in Alaska.  I’ve been holding onto it for the right time and reason.  I believe going into a new year spinning it was just what I was waiting for.

Here is a bit of information on Qiviut:

Qiviut Down Length: 1/2 – 6 inches (2-16.5 cm)

Qiviut Down Diameter: estimated between 11 and 19 microns

Qiviut needs to be dehaired and is great for knitting, though it has not fiber memory.

It has a natural color of soft gray-brown.  It can be dyed, but why?

At the price per oz. back in 2015 ($40/oz) it would go a long way if mixed with another fiber with a low micron count.

I plan to knit a simple, lace cowl for myself.  Hopefully I can get enough yardage to ply it on itself.

Until next time…stay warm.




January #handmadeholiday2017

In the spirit of taking back the holidays, I am suggesting a  year of #handmadeholiday2017 on Instagram.


Make a list, check it twice…then start the year off with a stash busting hat and a few gift tags to print out to complete your gift.

Let’s start with the hat.

This month will be devoted to hats.  The Family of Stripey Hats from Churchmouse Yarn & Teas is a free pattern and is perfect for using up bits of worsted weight yarn stash to create unique hats for everyone you want to gift a handmade, hand knit item to.

There are many knit-a-longs starting soon, though the one I’m joining in on is #caramomcoffeeKAL for the new pattern design from Boyland Knitworks.  Another stash busting pattern for fingering weight yarns, especially if you have a drawer full like I do.

Next, grab a page or two of cardstock and print out some of these lovely tags.




For a very simple set of 8 tags I made myself.

Screen Shot 2016-12-24 at 8.23.54 AM.png

I love using a paper lunch bag, maybe decorated with a pinecone and cinnamon stick or just a ribbon added with a tag. How easy and yes, thoughtful a small package can be.

Just keeping it simple.

Until next time…