Almost every day after school, Julia and I head down to the sheep barn to visit the new arrivals. Often there is a just-born lamb, like there was yesterday.
Sometimes we get to witness the birth of a baby. Lambing season is the most exciting time to be living here on our farm. We have to put up with the cold and the snow but as long as it isn’t several degrees below zero (the tractor usually won’t start when it is that cold), it isn’t bad. During the day, the greenhouse barn is really quite warm. It’s amazing to me that mostly the sheep and the lambs prefer being outside during the day. They laze around in the sun, pick at the hay and generally do nothing. The babies do a lot of sleeping, just like human infants.
The photo below shows Julia checking out this new lamb to see if it is a ram or a ewe lamb. You can see the iodine on its umbilical cord.
By the time Julia and I arrive at the barn in the afternoon, the sun has gone low in the sky and it has gotten much colder. Warm and wooly hats sure do make the difference when we are doing chores or visiting.
This week we have added giving Eeyore the Donkey and Jeremy the Llama apple snacks. Most of our animals are not very tame. They are used to the three of us and the noise of the tractor. Catching a sheep is always pretty difficult – except for Cora. We are hoping that the apples will make our two guard animals a little more friendly. Time will tell. It’s easy to pick up the little lambs during the first week but after that, they are really speedy.
Today Julia was wearing the newest PDF pattern that is available here on my on-line shop – The Farmgirls’ Stocking Cap. I wrote about how the cap got its name about a month ago here on this post. Read it if you are new to the blog because this was really a great story! That is our neighbor Kayla with the Farmgirls' Stocking Cap on riding her steer Ferdinand.
The Farmgirls’ Stocking Cap is knit in my Julia Yarn and a great project if you are new to working in Fair Isle knitting. It is knit in the round so you will only have to work on the right side of the knitting. This means that you will not have to purl any sts when working in the colorwork design! To create the colorwork design, you will follow a small graph, working from right to left knitting with the color specified in the pattern.
The stocking cap shaping of the hat occurs in the solid color garter ridges which makes shaping very easy. To work a garter ridge in the round, you’ll have to knit one round, then purl one round. The decreases happen in the knit round - they are what gives the cap its distinctive cone shape. The garter ridge is completed to make its characteristic bump by purling the second round. Each Fair Isle stripe is separated by two garter ridges. Trust me, it is very easy! You all have to get over your Fair Isle Fears!!!!!
I have been getting the nicest notes over the last couple weeks about how much people are enjoying my new book Color By Kristin. It seems the bright colors are really resonating with everyone now that we are in the midst of winter in the northern hemisphere. I am amazed how many people though are writing to say they are scared to knit my Fair Isle designs! Oh, please everyone – just give it a try.
Like with everything you learn, knitting in Fair Isle is difficult at first. With every project, your skills will improve. You have to start somewhere but the most important thing is to get over your Fear of Fair Isle and just begin! Start with a small project (like the Family of Slipper Socks from the book -read about them here- or this Farmgirls’ Stocking Cap). You will feel a real sense of accomplishment AND make something beautiful. In the Farmgirls’ Stocking Cap Pattern, I give you some good practical advice and in my new book there is lots and lots of practical instruction.
So go for it! You’ll be glad you did. You can order Color By Kristin directly from me here on my website and I will sign it and ship it right out to you. Selling books direct to you the knitter helps keep this little farm a-humming so that I can keep making books. But by all means, buy my book from your local yarn or bookstore if you are lucky enough to have one close to your home.
Today's Lesson - Be a Farmgirl and Just Do It - Knit Some Fair Isle!
BOOK PARTY - MAY 5-6
to celebrate the publication of my new book
CRAFTING A PATTERNED HOME.
Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.
This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.
The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.