Hooters Hall

Posts Tagged ‘knitting pattern’

Fibre Farming and a Shepherding Hat

If you follow Hooters Hall on Facebook or Instagram you will have seen some of my posts talking about transitioning to becoming a fibre farm. When we first started our smallholding journey we planned a mixed smallholding with a focus on raising rare breed pigs and growing herbs to flavour the sausages we would make in our own butchery. We did just that and our pork and sausages proved very popular.

With a need to keep on top of the grass growth in our paddocks we decided to get some sheep about a year or so into our smallholding life. We started with three Jacob ewes and soon added a ram and some more ewes. Now we have a gradually growing flock, bred here at Hooters Hall. Its not all about the wool of course we also have some Angora goats and have bred our Golden Guernsey goats with our Angora Billy to produce goats that shed their fleece. With fibre comes fibre crafts and over the past 5 years I’ve progressed from improving my knitting skills to spinning my own yarn and learning to weave. We’ve also developed our skills in shearing and small scale fibre processing so we can process all the fibre we produce at Hooters Hall.

It reached a point this year when we had to consider the direction we were heading in. With only six acres we have to plan how we can make best use of the land and as most smallholders discover the dream might be to work on your smallholding 24/7 but the reality is that most people have mortgages and that means earning a wage in non smallholding employment especially when you first start . So for a stress free life its important to find a balance between smallholding work and the day job.

For us the life balance is with fibre farming. That doesn’t mean we won’t ever keep pigs and make our own sausages again but it won’t be the main focus of our smallholding. We’ll continue to grow our own veg, herbs and natural dyes but our choices about how we use the land, the buildings we have and the equipment we invest in will be made with the goal of fibre farming rather than mixed smallholding.

So what does fibre farming mean ? There’s a long history of sheep farming in Britain but fibre farming is slightly different. We raise sheep and goats to produce fibre for fibre crafts rather than meat or for selling livestock on to other farmers. Some fibre farms focus on producing commercially popular fleeces and having their fibre spun into yarn at fibre mills.

At Hooters Hall we’re aiming for something slightly different. We want to produce fibre for handspinning, weaving and felting. Our goals aren’t just about fibre production but also fibre crafts. We want to process all our own fibre share our knowledge about small scale fibre processing, inspire people to learn about fibre crafts and develop their own skills in using fibre and creating for themselves.

In the medium to long term that might mean hosting fibre retreats here at Hooters Hall and maybe expanding our fibre processing with investment in mini mill equipment. Right now it means sharing our knowledge about fibre processing, fibre craft projects and selling the fibre from our Jacob sheep and Angora goats.

So with that in mind here’s my latest knitting project the Shepherding Hat. I wanted a simple beanie style hat to wear when I’m doing shepherding tasks. It needed to be a dense fabric to keep those winter winds out, a snug fit so it would stay put when I’m busy shepherding and a quick and easy knit made from my own handspun yarn.

The Hooters Hall Shepherding Hat

What you need

  • 3.5 mm 40cm circular needles
  • 3.5mm double pointed needles
  • 115g of Hooters Hall light dk / Sport Weight handspun yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch marker

This pattern is one size for adults. You need to be able to knit in the round, make knit and purl stitches and do a knit 2 together decrease.

Abbreviations

K = knit

P= Purl

K1P1 = Knit one Purl one ribbing

K2tog= Knit two stitches together 

The pattern

Cast on 92 sts

K1 P1 and join in the round placing a stitch marker at the start of the round.Continue K1P1 ribbing until your hat measures 11 cm or desired length. (If you make your hat longer you will use more yarn.)

Decrease round K21 K2tog repeat to end of round (88 sts)

Knit all stitches for one round

Crown decrease (decrease 8 sts every other round) switch to double pointed needles when necessary, for me this is usually at round 7.

Round 1.K8 K2tog repeat to end of round (72sts)

Round 2. Knit all stitches

Round 3. K7 K2tog repeat to end of round (64 sts)

Round 4. Knit all stitches

Round 5. K6 K2tog repeat to end of round (56 sts)

Round 6. Knit all stitches

Round 7. K5 K2tog repeat to end of round  (48 sts)

Round 8. Knit all stitches

Round 9. K4 k2tog repeat to end of round (40 sts)

Round 10. Knit all stitches

Round 11. K3 K2tog repeat to end of round (32 sts)

Round 12. Knit all stitches

Round 13. K2 k2tog repeat to end of round (24 sts)

Round 14. Knit all stitches

Round 15. K1 k2tog repeat to end of round (16 sts)

Round 16. Knit all stitches

Round 17. K2tog (8 sts)

Break yarn and using tapestry needle pull yarn through remaining stitches.

Weave in ends.

Block. Dunk your hat in warm water. Remove and roll up in a dry towel. Place over a balloon or head sized object and leave to dry.

This picture sums up what our fibre farm will be about the sheep, the yarn and the craft

 

Hooters Hall Handspun Infinity Scarf Knitting Pattern

If you fancy a super speedy knit using our Hooters Hall handspun yarn this infinity scarf is the pattern for you.

What you need.

100g bulky weight Hooters Hall handspun yarn. The pictures show a scarf knitted using our Fenland Mist bulky weight yarn.

10mm (US size 15) knitting needles

Pins and a towel or blocking mats

Tapestry or weaving needle

How to make it.

Leave a tail of about 18cm of yarn and cast on 5 stitches.

Knit every row. Don’t knit too tightly or you will struggle to move the yarn along the needle.

Cast off when you get to the end of the ball of yarn. Remember to leave enough yarn for your casting off. If you misjudge it just undo a couple of rows and try again.

Block your scarf. Fill a sink or bowl with warm water. Put your scarf in the water for a few seconds holding it under the water. Remove and roll up your scarf in a dry towel. Give it a quick squeeze.

Lay your scarf on another towel or blocking mats. Pin at one end and work your way along the scarf gently stretching it out and pinning as you go.

Once you’ve finished it should be at least 1m in length. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit longer. Leave to dry for a few days.

Sewing Up

Fold your scarf in half so it in a V shape like this

Fold the ends inwards so they line up with each other like this

Your scarf should look like this

With a tapestry or weaving needle sew the two ends together using mattress stitch. You can use the long tail of yarn from your cast on edge. Alternatively you could use a different yarn but you will need to tie it to a stitch on  the edge of your scarf first.

That’s it. Your scarf should look like this. You can wear it as a single loop or twist and loop it around your neck twice.

 

 

Happy Knitting

Super chunky infinity scarf knitting pattern

Infinity scarves are perfect for wearing when you’re busy doing smallholding tasks. No flapping ends or trying to secure your scarf around your neck in force 10 gale. This scarf has a moebius twist so lies nice and flat on your chest and easily twists up and around your neck; you can even pull it up onto your head like a hood.
You can use any Hooters Hall 3-4 wpi super bulky yarn it looks great with our self striping yarn as well as the Shetland Silk or any of the natural undyed British wool yarns. If you have a low tolerance to ticklishness from wool then the self striping yarns or the oatmeal Blue Faced Leicester will probably work best for you.

What you need ?

  • 500g Hooters Hall 3-4 wpi yarn available in our Etsy farm shop click on the Hooters Hall Farm Shop tab above
  • 15mm size 19 circular needles with at least a 1m cable
  • large darning needle

This infinity scarf is knitted from the bottom up which is why you need the long circular needle although you won’t be knitting in the round.

The Pattern

Leaving a tail of yarn approximately 65 cm cast on 69 stitches (this tail of yarn will be used to sew together the ends of your scarf)

Row 1: Knit all stitches

Row 2: Knit 1, * yarn over, Knit 2 together, repeat from * to end of row

Row 3: Knit all sitiches

Row 4: Knit 2, * yarn over, Knit 2 together, repeat from * until there is one stitch left and then knit this stitch

Repeat rows 1 to 4 three more times making a total of 16 rows

Cast off using the stretchy Knit 2 together method.

Knit 2 stitches together giving you one stitch on the right needle

Slip that stitch back onto the left needle then knit it together with the next stitch.

Repeat until you have only one stitch remaining on your needle.

Pull your yarn through the final stitch as usual to complete the bind off.

Blocking

Your scarf will need blocking before you sew it up with a moebius twist. Blocking will help open up the  lace holes and improve the drape of the scarf. I tend to prefer a full wet blocking for super chunky yarn.

Dunk your scarf into some hot water (no soap and don’t agitate it). Roll it up in a large towel to squeeze water out don’t wring it.

Place some thick towels on a flat surface and pin your scarf out so that the holes are opened out. leave to dry naturally, it will take a few days.

Sewing up

Fold your scarf in half short sides together

On a flat surface arrange your scarf in a v shape as shown in the picture

 

Then fold the ends in and sew together with your darning needle using mattress stitch and the long tail of yarn left when you cast on.

You may also have some yarn left after casting off and could use this to sew up the ends if you prefer.