Monthly Archives: January 2014

Water …

Daily prompt: water

My creation- by Joan -

Historic Sheep and Wool

This article that I read from my New Yorker friend Ruth about Tavern on the Green in Central Park being a sheepfold before it was a famous tourist trap led me down a rabbit hole of all kinds of historic sheep and knitting interests.


Boston Common was once grazing land (in addition to being a public garden, and where hangings and drills and parades took place), allowing sheep and cows to graze until 1830. In November of 1931, Boston Commons hosted a sheep shearing competition, according to a Lewiston Daily Sun story. The winner from Texas sheared a sheep in 4.5 minutes.

1931 Sheep Shearing

The newspaper story mentions a “Wish it with Wool” campaign where people take a pledge to give three people all (or mostly) wool gifts for Christmas that year. It sounds an awful like the “Give Handmade” pledge, doesn’t it? I found an article in the Prescott Evening Courier urging people to support the local Arizona wool market! I wouldn’t think of Arizona as being a great place for wool-growing, since the summer I spent there it was 112 degrees for a week, but when they mentioned Mohair, it started to make a little more sense.

Angora Goats

Our Angora Goats (where Mohair comes from) are not well-suited to cold climates, so they might fare better than the sheep in the heat. Apparently, automobiles used Mohair in upholstery!

I love reading about the history of shepherding in the US. Are you reading any good historic articles or books?

Cold and Cranky

I am having a spectacularly bad week, y’all. The hateful, frigid weather has delayed an event that was already stressing me the hell out (the photo shoot for my first book) and I wound pretty tight right now. Next week’s forecast is looking similarly sucktastic!

In between checking the 10 Day Outlook every 20 minutes, I stumbled on this lovely blog post about a golden retriever taking care of a motherless kitten.1120



You know what? Seeing these pics made me feel warm for the first time in weeks.

Hope you are staying warm where you are.


btt button

Do you do other things while you read? Watch TV? Cook? Brush your teeth? Knit?

(For the record, I’m guilty of all of the above.)

Or is it a quicker question to ask when you DON’T read? (Please tell me you don’t read while you’re driving.)

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Icy Pond …


Sengekontacket Pond ~ Martha’s Vineyard


- by Joan -

Yarned by You: Farm Yarn Edition

Helloooo blog readers! Sarah here – you may remember me from my previous posts on knitting a share yarn sweater or the share yarn pattern inspiration posts. I’m bringing you today’s Yarned by You!

Today’s theme is projects made with share yarn OR with the special edition Shepherd & Shearer yarn. I’ve been knitting away on my Shepherd Hoodie, one of the two patterns created especially for Juniper Moon’s The Shepherd and The Shearer project (in case you’re just hearing about the project now, there are kits available HERE!), and I’ve been thinking about what I’ll make with my 2013 Cormo wool yarn share, too.

All of that led me to browse what others have made with the Shepherd & Shearer yarn and the cormo wool share yarn. There is some GORGEOUS stuff! As always, click on the images to find out more about the crafter, pattern, and project.

Let’s start with the Shepherd & Shearer yarn projects, shall we?

CanadianEh has finished her Shearer pullover – I LOVE this photo, it makes me want to knit cables forever and ever (and take pretty arty photos of them!)

CanadianEh The Shearer

Check out this finished Shepherd hoodie, made by Spar, and modified to omit the hood and add a ribbed collar, and with ribbing at the bottom instead of seed stitch. I love seeing modifications!

Spar Shepherd

Other knitters are using the AMAZING Shepherd & Shearer yarn for totally different patterns. Michellehihi used it to make an Aidez sweater, adorably named “Aidez les moutons” (“Help the Sheep”)!!

Michellehihi Aidez

Even cuter, mswnola’s dog coat is too sweet for words, and really shows off how well the yarn cables.

mswnola Dog Coat

What about some share yarn projects?

blendab1 made ingenious use of both undyed cormo share yarn AND Juniper Moon’s colored yarn share in this Émilien cardigan. The stripes are perfect!

blendab1 emilien

It’s definitely blanket season – how great would it be to snuggle up under jamiedean’s Two Lights Blanket in cormo share yarn?

jamiedean blanket

cbseitz used cormo share yarn to make this lovely Trillium sweater – I think I spy a few bobbles!

cbseitz Trillium sweater

How about some bright dyed share yarn projects to round everything out? bkroll’s Market Jacket in the Ojai colourway feels distinctly springy to me!

bkroll Market Jacket

And suszek’s Vivian cardigan, knit with Juniper Moon’s Wool/Mohair Fall Share yarn, is right up my alley. Cables, bright happy green, cardigan – fantastic!

suszek Vivian

Looking at all of these amazing projects has really made me feel inspired to cast on something in Juniper Moon yarn! What are you casting on these days?

Tell Me Something Good Tuesday!

Tell Something GoodTuesdays

We haven’t done a TMSGT in ages and ages! What good things are happening in your world? And how are you staying warm during this arctic blast?

The Vineyard In Stitches …


This is my wall of Vineyard counted cross stitch projects. The Vineyard map in the upper left hand corner was the first one in 1993.  Tisbury in the bottom middle was the last one in 2011. There were other non-MV projects done in between the Vineyard ones and I also did eight more of the Vineyard maps during that time too.

These are not the only Vineyard counted cross stitches I’ve done though. The one closest to my heart is the Tabernacle designed especially for me by my daughter Deb.


The Tabernacle is my favorite place on the Vineyard for many reasons and so this picture means more to me than I can ever put into words. I did a post about it though which you can read by CLICKING HERE .

Close ups (sorry for the reflections from the windows)…


Do I have a favorite other than the Tabernacle one ?  What do you think :)  How about you, do you like one more than the others ?

5 Months Until Summer …


- by Joan -

Amber’s Shepherd Hoodie — Body and Sleeves

Shepherd in the sunset

It grows! Judging from these pictures I took in my front yard, one of several things happened after the right front was done:  A) I lost my head amidst the lanolin fumes and thought I had a lap full of sheep that needed to graze, B) I have a thing for tossing lovely white sweaters on the dirty ground, or C) There was no light and/or no clean spot on the floor in my house at the moment I felt like taking a picture. (I’m leaning toward both B & C personally…)

Shepherd progress

Sadly, the other front was finished late in the evening a few days later when it was much too dark outside for a picture, so I had to settle for throwing it on my dirty floor instead.

Shepherd 1-21

Then yesterday the back was finished (AND I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE CRAP CRAP CRAP),

{ see? no picture of the back and front flaps laid out flat here }

and today the shoulders were seamed.


I was so excited to finally try it on today and it’s a nice fit (or will be once it’s blocked of course), but I will admit to having a momentary twinge of wishing I had made it a little longer. Actually, I almost did make it a few inches longer, but with not being sure about yarn amounts and all that, I didn’t think it would be smart to risk running out and having to sacrifice the hood at the end, so I only went over the length the pattern called for by a teensy smidge.


But ANYWAY, enough of my incessant public hand-wringing. I know it will block out a little bigger in all directions, and I will still love it no matter what, so that’s all I need to say about that.

In the realm of real regrets though, I do wish I had more sleeve progress to share this week. It took me so long just to get to the point of starting them, I’m afraid I didn’t get very far in time for today’s post.


And in the spirit of full disclosure (yes, one of my all time, most-overused phrases, sorry), I had some difficulty understanding the pattern directions when it came to the sleeve stitch slipping and picking up part. I’m not going to write it all out here due to specific pattern discussion and all that, but I will direct you to the ever helpful Juniper Moon Farm KAL thread on Ravelry in case you’re having a similar problem. Or perhaps you just want to have a chuckle at my apparent ineptitude, either way is good.

So. I leave you until next time with this picture of my wee sleeve baby, and the hopes that I have two full ones to share in my next post. Happy Shepherding, friends!



meAmber resides in sporadically idyllic Berks County, PA with her husband and three children.

This time of year, she can most often be found knitting, baking, sewing, or DIYing her house to heck and back. She definitely should leave that house more often.