Hooters Hall

Posts Tagged ‘handspun yarn’

Hooters Hall 2014

For Hooters Hall 2014 was very much the year of the goat. We expanded our herd of angoras and also added some British Guernseys. We also had our first Hooters Hall born kid little Molly.  Sadly we lost the lovely Sugar (one of our Guernseys) but her daughter Spice is doing well and is hopefully pregnant. Here’s Molly 20 minutes after she was born and a few days later meeting Bran one of our farm cats.

Molly wasn’t the only newborn at Hooters Hall. The ducks managed to successfully hatch some eggs and we now have 10 ducks instead of 2. The new ducklings also have some stylish quiffs.

We had a sucessful lambing with our Jacobs and our Jacob fleece is proving very popular with spinners and fibre artists. Here are some of the 2014 lambs and some pictures of fleece hand processed into rolags for spinning, handspun yarn and a hand knitted scarf. The natural colours of the Jacob fleece make a beautiful fabric.

Our rare breed, 100% Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages and burgers were really popular this year and we sold out really quickly ( we’ll have more in the farm shop around April). To keep up with demand we’ve started breeding our own Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs. We have two sows Beatrice and Eugenie. After a visit from Mr Boar Beatrice had her first litter at the end of October and we’ve just weaned the piglets. Here they are having a nap.

Our plans for 2015 include more fibre craft. We’re going to be experimenting with dying our mohair with natural dyes from British native plants grown at Hooters Hall, selling both the dyed fleece and the dye plants in the farm shop. If Spice the Guernsey is pregnant we’ll hopefully have some interesting fleece from her kid. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a fleece with the golden colour of the Guernsey but fibre quality of the Angora.

There will be more 100% Gloucestershire Old Spot pork sausages and burgers all handmade at Hooters Hall and maybe some hams as well. We made some glazed and smoked ham for ourselves this Christmas and it was delicious.

If Spice the Guernsey does have a kid we’ll also have goat milk and will try making some goats cheese.

We’ve got a bit of a change of direction for the polytunnel planned in 2015. We’ve spent the last few weeks planting a variety of fruit trees and soft fruits and we’ll be adding more grapes as well. As well as lots of delicious fruit I’m planning on using parts of the fruit trees, soft fruit as natural dyes for our mohair.

You can keep up to date with Hooters Hall and see lots of pictures of the goats, pigs, ducklings, horses & chickens on our  facebook page www.facebook.com/HootersHall

You can also find HootersHall on instagram and Twitter.

Three Easy Peasy Scarf Patterns with Hooters Hall Super Bulky yarn

Scarves are really easy to knit and with Hooters Hall super chunky yarn and a pair of size 50 needles you can have a beautiful, long winter scarf all finished in an hour, two hours at the very most.

What do I need ?

  1. 500g of any of our 3-4 wpi yarns will be enough to give you a nice long scarf for any of these three patterns. Some of our heavier ( 6g /1m)  yarns will give a slightly shorter scarf than the approximate measurements given below.
  2. A pair of size 50 (25mm) knitting needles

Beginners Moss Stitch Scarf

A really easy pattern for beginners. If you can knit and purl you can make this scarf.

500g will give you a scarf  approximately 2m x 25cm (79 inches x 10 inches)

Cast on 9 stitches

Row One : Knit 1, Purl 1

Row Two:  Knit 1, Purl 1

Continue to repeat rows 1 and 2 until the scarf is as long as you want and there is enough yarn left to cast off.

Cast off and weave in loose ends.

 

Simple Lace Scarf

One of the ways to get more drape with super bulky yarns is to use lace stitches. This pattern uses a really simple garter stitch lace pattern.

500g of yarn will give you a scarf approximately 2m x 22cm (79 inches x 8 inches)

Cast on 8 stitches

Row 1: Knit all stitches

Row 2: Knit all stitches

Row 3: Knit  all stitches

Row 4: Knit all stitches

Row 5: Wrap the yarn around the needle two extra times and knit the first stitch, repeat to end of row

Row 6: Knit the first stitch and slide the 2 other loops off the needle, repeat to end of row

Row 7, 8 and 9 : Knit all stitches

Repeat from row 5 until the scarf is as long as you want and there is enough yarn to cast off

Cast off and weave in all loose ends

Bramble Stitch Scarf

I love the big puffs of yarn you get with this pattern I think they look like roses. It makes for a super snuggly scarf.

500g of yarn will give you a scarf approximately 180cm x 21 cm (71 inches x 8 inches)

Cast on 10 stitches

Row 1: Knit first stitch * (Knit1, Purl1,Knit 1) into the next stitch, purl 3 together. Repeat from * across the row, knit the last stitch

Row 2 Purl all stitches

Row 3: Knit first stitch, * ( Purl 3 together), (Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit1) into the next stitch. Repeat from * across the row, knit the last stitch

Repeat from Row 1 until the scarf is as long as you want, with enough yarn left to cast off.

Cast off and weave in any loose ends.

If you want to knit a bobble hat to go with your scarf here’s a free pattern: http://www.hootershall.co.uk/2014/03/26/bobble-hat-knitting-pattern/

 

Using Hand spun Yarn

Being a spinner I’m quite happy knitting with hand spun yarn but the world of hand spun can seem a bit daunting especially to those new to knitting.

I think for most knitters part of the reason for knitting is to make something special and different to mass produced, shop bought things and what could be more special and less mass produced than hand spun yarn.

It’s true that hand spun yarns don’t usually come with all the details you get on the label of commercial yarns but it’s easy enough to work out what you need to know. It’s also true that there is usually some variability in hand spun yarn but that’s what makes it and your knitting unique.

To get the best out of your hand spun yarn you need to take the time to consider its individual characteristics. What does the yarn feel like ? will it suit being next to your skin? will it stand up to regular washing or does it need a gentle handwash? Yarns can be spun in different ways to create yarns that are smooth, lustrous, fuzzy, light and fluffy. A fuzzy yarn is likely to get even fuzzier over time which will lead to a less well defined stitch pattern. Woolen yarns have a softer look compared to a smoother worsted yarn. So consider these points when thinking about which projects to use your hand spun in. The number of plies in a yarn will also have a big impact on the look of your finished project. Three ply yarns will have much greater stitch definition but being quite round will tend to fill in the holes in a lacy knit. Strength of yarn is also affected by the number of plies, the more there are the stronger the yarn.

Lots of hand spun yarns are fat singles. A fat single is a single yarn that hasn’t been plied with another single to create e.g. a double ply. Of course because it is a single the yarn won’t be as strong as a plied yarn but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot with it.

Straight off the spinning wheel fat singles turn into a curly, twirly mess, they’re usually described as having a lot of energy. The reason for this is that there only twist in one direction. With a double ply yarn two fat singles are spun the opposite way when plied together, reducing the energy in the twist. It’s really easy to tone down the energy / twist in a fat single though, you just need to give it a nice hot soak after spinning. I wash all my hand spun yarns after spinning but if you have a yarn that you’re not certain has been washed just dunk it some hot water for a bit of a soak.

Commercial yarns will generally have a description of the yarn thickness  as well a weight in grams and perhaps a guide to length / yardage. Some hand spun yarns might come with some,all or none of this information but it’s easy to work out yourself.

Quite often you will see the wraps per inch (w.p.i) for a hand spun yarn. This is a very simple measure to indicate the thickness of the yarn. To calculate wraps per inch simply wind the yarn around a ruler over an inch and work out how many wraps there are per inch. Here’s a rough guide to w.p.i, type of yarn and stitches per inch.

  • 4-8 wpi = bulky yarn = 3.3.5 stitches per inch
  • 9-12 wpi = worsted yarn= 4-4.5 stitches per inch
  • 11-13 wpi = DK yarn = 5-5.5 stitches per inch
  • 14-18 wpi = sport yarn = 6-6.5 stitches per inch
  • 19-22 wpi = fingering yarn =7-8 stitches per inch

Often you will get an approximate weight for hand spun but you can weigh it yourself on the kitchen scales. To work out the length of your yarn you can weigh specific length e.g. 1metre and then calculate the length of the remaining yarn e.g. if 1m of yarn weighs 2grams then 100grams of yarn is about 50metres long. You can also buy yarn calculators (they have some on amazon) that will tell you the length of your yarn.

So, once you’ve found out about your yarn characteristics what can you use it for ? the simple answer is anything if you have enough of it. But if you’ve only got a small amount why not use your hand spun yarn together with a commercial yarn to add a bit of an extra special something to your project. Use your hand spun yarn as an accent, as an edging or for a specific part of a pattern.

If you want to use hand spun yarn for an entire project here’s a rough guide to how much you might need.

Project yarn 7-8 wpi yarn 6-6.5 wpi yarn 5-5.5 wpi yarn 4-4.5 wpi
Scarf 8inch x 60inch 675 yards 617 m 575 yards 525m 450 yards 450 yards 411m
Hat 20 inch 300 yards 274m 260 yards 237m 200 yards 183m 150 yards 137m
Adult size mittens 300 yards 274m 260 yards 237m 200 yards 183m 150 yards 137m
Socks adult size 8 400 yards 365m 350 yards 320m 250yards 229m 200 yards 183m
Socks size adult 11 500 yards 457m 450 yards 411m 350 yards 320m 250 yards 229m

Feeling more confident about using handspun now? Here’s some pictures of Hooters hall handspun yarn to whet your appetite

You can buy Hooters Hall handspun yarn from our website www.hootershall.co.uk

Folksy http://folksy.com/shops/HootersHall

or Etsy http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HootersHall