Category Archives: Yarn

Three Rivers Shawl

Three Rivers Shawl
Three Rivers Shawl

Download the pattern from Ravelry here.

The Knit Along will run from March 6th to April 10th.  Join me  for fun, pattern support and weekly prizes in my Facebook Group WayfaringYarns Designs here.

Purchase the discounted kit from The Buffalo Wool Company here.

In Yellowstone National Park, the Phillips, Greg and Fern rivers join at a junction called Three Rivers which feature hot springs and a spectacular waterfall.

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The Three Rivers Shawl is an assymetrical shaped shawl knit from the top down in The Buffalo Wool Company’s Sexy (50% Bison Down/50% Silk) and Earth (90% Bison Down/10% Nylon).  This yarn adds to the celebration of this beautiful area in Yellowstone National Park.  The pictured shawl features three lace panels representing rivers knit in Sexy, squishy garter stitch panels representing earth and knit in Earth, and a generous lace border knit in Sexy representing waterfalls.

The Buffalo Wool Company is offering two different discounted kits for this shawl.  The first kit includes two skeins of Earth and one skein of Sexy, the second kit includes two skeins of Happiness (40% bison down, 40% merino, 20% bamboo) and one skein of Sexy.  You can choose your favorite colorway of Sexy for either kit.

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Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat

Star Wars Spin Master BB-8 and Barbie Smart Dream House, it’s time to move over and make room for the #1 hot gift of the season…The Messy Bun Hat!  Also known as the ponytail hat, this topless hat pattern is the most requested style of knitted gifts for the season.

Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat
Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat

Knit in The Buffalo Wool Company’s Earth Aran (90% bison down, 10% nylon), this cabled, topless hat is a perfect choice for active winter sports lovers.

Downhill, telemark, backcountry, crosscountry and skate skiing are some of the different types of skiing we enjoy in snowy Alta, Wyoming.  And even when it’s 20 degrees fahrenheit (-6.6 C), when the sun is shining it’s hot outside!

It's 18 degrees F outside, too hot for a hat!
It’s 18 degrees F outside, too hot for a hat!

The Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat is perfect for keeping your ears cozy and snug while allowing your ponytail (or messy bun) plenty of freedom.  And if the sun isn’t shining (brrrrr!) you can pull this hat over your head and wear it as a neck gaiter.  Perfect!

Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat worn as a neck gaiter
Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat worn as a neck gaiter

Hope you enjoy knitting this pattern, revised with new charts.   You can find my original page featuring the hat here and  can download it here on Ravelry.

Vixen Sweater

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Download the Vixen Sweater from Ravelry.  It’s FREE for 24 hours!

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck) for the very first time.  I saw lots of lovely knitters in gorgeous sweaters.

At the Buffalo Wool Company booth
At the Buffalo Wool Company booth
Gorgeous shawls
Beautiful shawls
I love these sweaters
I love these sweaters
Fabulous cable details
Fabulous cable details

And the weather was perfect!

I’m happy to announce the release of my first sweater pattern this season, the Vixen Sweater.

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This mock turtleneck is named after the Vixen Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. The geyser is named because of it’s temperamental, feisty nature, like a fox!

In the Vixen Sweater pattern, Rowan Felted Tweed DK is paired with Rowan Kidsilk Haze which adds a touch of cozy glamour to the sporty stripes of this simple, relaxed, top town raglan sweater.

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Because there’s no waist shaping, it’s easy to adjust this pattern to your own preferences.  Lengthen or shorten the neck, add or subtract length by using more or less stripes.

You’ll want to make sure you end with a stretch bind-off for the hem.  Here’s a video tutorial for the Russian bind-off.

 

Home on the Range

Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the world is famous for geysers, waterfalls, wolves, elk, moose and…Bison!

Geyser at Lake Yellowstone
Geyser at Lake Yellowstone

Sometimes called buffalo, these majestic creatures brave extremely cold temperatures, as low as 66 degrees below zero (-55C) with an average of 150 inches of snow each year.

Lake Yellowstone
Lake Yellowstone

The Bufflo Wool Company, owned by Ron and Theresa Miskin and located in Kennedale, Texas harvest soft bison down from their herd and use it to create the most amazing luxury yarn on earth.  I was tickled pink to be able to speak with Ron and he had a lot of awesome things to say about their job, their herd, and their yarn.

Me:  Here in Yellowstone country we have a healthy fear and respect for the mighty Buffalo and are instructed by state park officials to stay 25-30 yards away.  How do you harvest the bison down?

Ron:  When we first started using the fiber we picked it up off the fences and bushes around the ranch.  Now we put street sweeper brushes on fence posts on ranches around the country.  We also shear the hides when the bison are processed for meat.

Me:  I like that.  Nothing goes to waste.  What is your favorite part of owning and running The Buffalo Wool Company?

Ron:  Definitely the people.  This industry is filled with the most kind, generous people I’ve ever met.  Everyone is so willing to give advice and help where they can.

He is seriously the nicest man!

2Sexy fingering weight, 50% bison down, 50% silk
2Sexy fingering weight, 50% bison down, 50% silk

Why bison? I can personally attest to the company’s claim that bison is soft enough to wrap a baby in and tough enough to keep a mountain man warm in a blizzard!

This is our backyard six months a year...we know warm when we feel it!
This is our backyard six months a year…we know warm when we feel it!

Some other awesome bison down fiber facts:

– No known allergies to the fiber.
– Bison down has a moisture regain of about 30%, keeping you warm and comfortable even when wet.
– Because it’s not hollow and doesn’t have barbs like wool, it doesn’t shrink.

Below are the 3 designs from my Winter 2016 collection that feature The Buffalo Wool Company Yarns.  Click on the links for the free patterns.

Rendezvous Snowflake Mitts
Rendezvous Snowflake Mitts – 2sexy, 50% bison down, 50% silk
Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat - Heaven DK, 100% bison down
Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat – Heaven DK, 100% bison down
Yellowstone Ear Warmers - Heaven DK, 100% bison down
Yellowstone Ear Warmers – Heaven DK, 100% bison down

Have you used yarn from The Buffalo Wool Company?

Once Upon A Wooly Dream

Imagine a beautiful place high in the mountains where the snow almost never stops falling and when the sun breaks through the clouds it shines with bright blue skies on a very cold day.  Sounds like Alta, Wyoming to me! My home sweet home is the place where the weather and a local yarn store filled with colorful, soft yarns inspired me to learn to knit.

Antonio González-Arnao imagined a place very similar when he dreamed of a brand name for his line of incredibly soft, kettle-dyed yarns – Malabrigo.  Spanish for bad shelter, Antonio loved the idea of a cold, windy place where people would find pleasure creating indoors with their richly dyed, velvety soft wool.

Located in Uruguay and most recently Peru, Malabrigo is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization and is dedicated to creating yarn using environmentally responsible methods. Their factories meet Oeko-Tex standards, which means their yarn is free from a range of harmful substances including pesticides and heavy metals often found in manufactured yarn.

I have two designs in my Winter 2016 collection that call for Malabrigo yarns. Downtown Jackson Scarf, knit with Malabrigo Mecha, purchased at The Black Sheep in Encinatas, California

Downtown Jackson Scarf - Malabrigo Mecha, 100% merino and Rowan Fur, 97% wool, 3% nylon
Downtown Jackson Scarf – Malabrigo Mecha, 100% merino and Rowan Fur, 97% wool, 3% nylon

and Sugar House Cowl, knit with Malabrigo Worsted, purchased at Blazing Needles in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sugar House Cowl - Malabrigo Worsted, 100% merino
Sugar House Cowl – Malabrigo Worsted, 100% merino

Have you had the chance to work with Malabrigo Yarns?

 

 

Trace Your Yarn

While driving through the Rhône-Alpes region of France last year

Dairy cows in the French Alps
Dairy cows in the French Alps

my husband and I stopped in downtown Grenoble so I could check out a yarn store (feeling lots of hubby-love here❤️), Maille á Part, located at 5 rue Génissieu. I went straight to some fingering weight alpaca, and stood there, trying to decide on a color.  This was my first experience with Lang Yarns, a German company which has been in business since 1867.   That’s almost 150 years!

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Lang Yarns carries several wool yarns that are traceable, meaning can enter the yarn information printed on the lable here and learn about the farm and the sheep on the farm that produced the wool you are holding in your hand.  Pretty cool.

Baby Alpaca is not a traceable yarn, but that didn’t take away any of the pleasure I enjoyed while knitting up the Grenoble Fair Isle Hat.

Grenoble Fair Isle Hat, Lang Yarns Baby Alpaca, 100% alpaca
Grenoble Fair Isle Hat, Lang Yarns Baby Alpaca, 100% alpaca

 

Wayfaring Yarns 🐢 Slow Fashion

This month I’m joining with The Fringe Association in celebrating fashion the slow way – Handmade, Quality over Quantity, Indie Fashion, Small Batchs, Sustainability, Know your Source, and Buy Local.

HANDMADE

This Mobius Cowl designed by Maie Landra, owner of Koigu Wool, was featured on the cover of Vogue Knitting Winter 2013/14.  While I am a huge fan of Koigu yarns, I chose to use some yarn from my stash – Frogtree Pediboo, to create this lovely, fun-to-knit cowl.

  

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

While learning to knit and design, I have learned that I enjoy working with quality yarns.  I love the beauty and feel of natural fibers in my hands. I love learning about small companies and co-ops all over the world who employ local  create fabulous yarns.  This Aprés-Ski Wool Sock  pattern knit in Noro Kureyon will be featured in my Winter 2016 collection.

 

INDIE FASHION

Thanks to internet sites like craftsy, ravelry, knitty and etsy, it is now easier than ever for individuals and micro businesses to be in the business of designing fashion.  I’ve jumped into the game myself!  Below are two designs-in-progress that will be featured in my Winter 2016 collection: Downtown Jackson Scarf and open cable cowl (working title).

  

SMALL BATCHES

I had a great time visiting the Mountain Colors workshop earlier this summer.  Hats off to the many yarn companies and individuals who hand paint and hand dye their beautiful yarn.  I’m making the most of these stunning colors with my new design, Selway Poncho, a part of my Winter 2016 collection.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

A year ago I took a trip to europe for my 50th birthday.  One of my favorite purchases was this no lable dk merino wool from The Green Wheel in the artisan section of Dresden, Germany.  The owner explained that their yarns are from southern German co-ops who raise sheep.  I love working with this high quality merino yarn.  Pictured are my Green Wheel Merino hats.  In the works is a complimentary neck gaiter design for the boyz to keep them cozy during ski season.  The free pattern will be available in my Winter 2016 collection.

  

KNOW YOUR SOURCE

The Buffalo Wool Company is an excellent example of a yarn company who really knows their source. The downy bison fiber used in their exquisite yarns and clothing is sourced from their own bison herd in Texas.  I have used their yarn for two of my new designs; Yellowstone Skate Ski hat and Downtown Jackson Gloves, both available in my Winter 2016 collection.

 

BUY LOCAL

Ron and Cheryl Smith, owners of Paintbrush Alpacas sold me this beautiful yarn at a local fiber fair.  I enjoy supporting local artists for purely selfish reason, the yarn is unique and lovely!  This pattern is from Country Weekend Socks by Madeline Weston.

  
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the slow fashion movement!