New stock at Fleece Cottage Yarns

January update time at Fleece Cottage Yarns!

Over the Christmas break I managed to get quite a bit of dyeing done. As part of my New Year resolutions I have challenged myself to knit a garment and so I was dyeing some skeins to start a light cardigan. The rest are destined for the shop and you can have a peek at them below…

Two shimmery mulberry silks to start things off – a silvery pearly pink and a warm rose gold. These sorts of colours look so amazing on a mulberry silk base. I’ve dyed similar silvery colours before and it just works so well on laceweight silk that I think it will make a regular appearance in the shop (this one actually sold by the time I had finished the update!)

Rose gold and silver pearl


Two red Tussah silks – one a rich red with flashes of teal and the other just on the point of dark pink turning to red .

Rich Tussah reds


A few merino/silk laceweights – (clockwise from top left) a coral pink-gold, two matching skeins in blackened emerald (much more saturated in real life – my camera is struggling with greens…), a sea-teal with grey and earth tones and a dark red-brown.

Merino/silk laceweights

This last one is one of a pair of skeins for my laceweight Simplicity Cardigan. First garment in laceweight – not sure this is one of my best ideas…

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A resolute New Year

Don’t get me wrong, I do like Christmas, but for me this time of year is all about a fresh beginning and getting things in order. I love the clean feeling of January and New Year resolutions are right up my street. I’m usually pretty good at keeping them, so let’s hope that I don’t jinx things by committing these craft-related ones to the blog… Well, we’ll find out next year!

In 2014, I want to

  • knit my first adult-sized garment – sooner or later I’m going to have to face my tension swatch demons…
  • try out gradient dyeing – quite fancy sorting out some pure silk gradient sets for the shop
  • knit my first pair of ‘proper’ gloves – OK, I’m actually on attempt 3 with these now after trying to knit cables in semi-darkness getting the baby to sleep and then the baby pulling it all off the needles later on… But they are going to get done in 2014.
  • knit my first pair of socks – again, I have the beginnings of a sock which I abandoned to work on other things. My husband has reluctantly agreed to be a sock guinea pig, which means they have to be plain, black and boring.
  • knit something from the Heirloom Knitting book/website – this has the potential to wipe out all of the above, but I keep hankering after these patterns and it would be a great achievement… and no, the cobweb baby bootees don’t count!

And since it’s the New Year, a glance at my handy knitmeter tells me that in 2013 I managed to get through 5.71 miles of yarn. Don’t really know how it ended up being so much, but if I do go down the Heirloom Knitting project route, 2014’s total may well be higher…

I’ve been busy dyeing over the break and this little lot is a sneak preview of some of the batch:

First batch of new year yarn… the rest is still drying

The majority of them will be appearing in the Etsy shop once they are photographed and reskeined. Inevitably, a couple may be relocated to my stash…

Happy New Year!

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Everything but a knitted partridge in a pear tree…

It’s almost Christmas and I’ve finally finished the gift knitting…

Nine presents in all, including:

4 stranded Christmas baubles

Jukekuler in 4 different beaded designs

3 ruffled shrug cardigans

The pattern used here is Entrechat 

2 cabled tank tops (one’s still blocking and a bit shy of photos!)…

Poseidon tank top in Fleece Cottage Yarns BFL DK

and… er, well, haven’t got a partridge in a pear tree or a single gift, so that ruins the song!

The tank top uses some superwash Blue-Faced Leicester DK that I dyed. In the past I’ve always played it safe with merino (especially with ordering online), but I’ve been really pleasantly surprised with the softness of Blue-faced Leicester yarns. I wanted a warm, slate-blue and the BFL base gives the colour a real softness.

DK and heavier weight yarns aren’t routinely stocked in the shop at the moment but can be dyed to order.

And so, with all the gift knitting out the way, I’m dyeing some more skeins for the shop and drawing up a list of new projects to begin. What could be better when it’s cold outside and you’ve got a glass of mulled wine?

Merry Christmas!

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Silver grey and berry red

Due to my baby son pouring a glass of water over my laptop, updates have been a bit thin on the ground… but now we’re back up and running.

There’s been more knitting than dyeing going on at Fleece Cottage in recent weeks in the mad rush leading up to Christmas but I’m working on a big update to the shop in the new year. There’ll be lots of laceweight on a variety of bases and some fingering yarns too. The shop has been pleasingly active so stocks are dwindling, but there are still a few lovely skeins left…

Aside from all the gift knitting, I’ve finished the laceweight Premonition and donated it to the village fundraising auction:

‘Premonition in the Mists’ – Fleece Cottage Yarns Mulberry Silk Lace

Detail of ‘Premonition’

I’m really pleased with the colour and with how the mulberry silk base has turned out. The subtle colour combined with the lighter yarn really works and it looks totally different to the fingering weight silk/mohair version I made some months back. This silk holds its block very crisply and really benefits from a good old stretch on the blocking boards. The result is an ethereal and delicate fabric.

Another month, another mystery knit-a-long… This one is my treat for all the Christmas gift knitting I’m doing this year. The Boo-Knits Advent knit-a-long calls for 4ply/fingering weight this time so I thought I’d use it to test out a new base. I wanted a rich festive colour for the scarf and have come up with this:

Yarn and beads for ‘Boo Humbug’ – testing out the silk/merino 4ply

It’s a 50:50 blend of merino and silk and is gorgeously soft. It should make a nice snuggly scarf but still have some drape from the silk. This is going to be a slow background project as there are just too many other things going on, but it’s a great pattern to just dip in and out of.

My reward for all the Christmas cooking is some relaxing time among the dyepots – looking forward to updating the shop with the results!

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Forthcoming attractions…

A few ‘au naturel’ photos of the yarn that will soon be added to the shop

Ready to go..

.They still need reskeining before having their beauty shots. I going to have to rig up something different for the photos now that the natural light outside is getting poor…

I’m really pleased with this one, a mulberry silk laceweight. To me it looks like the colours of an enchanted forest – silvery pale greens, sage, blush pink, and a darker mossy green. On a shiny base like silk, it has a lovely effect and I think it would make a very special project.

Mulberry Silk Lace in ‘The dreaming forest’

Another mulberry silk laceweight, this time in shades of amethyst. A beautiful jewel-like skein that would easily suit a range of lace projects – who doesn’t like purple?

Mulberry Silk Lace

This is a new fingering weight silk in a rich electric blue. To be honest, I think I’m going to overdye it to make it a bit more solid as I think there might be a bit too much variegation at the moment…

Mulberry Silk Fingering

I’m not going to even try and capture the other blue-green skein without very careful lighting as it’s just the sort of colour my camera refuses to deal with. It’s a lovely peacock blue with flashes of green on a merino-silk base. I won’t let it beat me – I WILL get an accurate photo!

(The dark purple/red Tussah in the top photo has already been on the blog and is already in the shop…)

Right, now I need to get on and reskein them  and get them on Etsy!

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Showing off the silks

Lots of things have been happening but with no internet connection, it’s been a bit quiet on the blog front. Now we’re back up and running, here’s what’s been going on…

  • The Morticia shawl is finished!

The finished shawl

The Fleece Cottage Tussah blocked out very dramatically. It was a wide shawl so finding a child-free blocking space big enough was a bit of a challenge. With harder blocking, I could have probably got even more width out of it, but I ran out of space!

I’m really pleased with how’s it’s turned out and I’m delighted with the colour – very dark and rich.

1000 little beads!

  • My next project is a wide scarf/stole which will be auctioned off at a charity event and I’ve dyed a pale silvery purple mulberry silk to use. It’s another Boo Knits pattern, Premonition.

Premonition in Fleece Cottage Yarns Mulberry Silk Lace ‘Through Mist and Cloud’

I’ve used this pattern before in fingering weight and although it will turn out quite differently in this laceweight base, it’s familiar and I know I can turn it out in time for the auction.

Miyuki size 8 smoky amethyst seed beads

I love these tiny smoky amethyst seed beads with the yarn – just enough contrast to add interest, but still pretty and subtle.

  • I’m working on another update to the shop, which will include more silk laceweight and a new base – a pure mulberry silk in fingering weight. I will also be testing out a merino DK base in the next few weeks – think I’m going to need a bigger dyepot at this rate!

Christmas gift knitting – yes, that will happen…at some point…

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Morticia MKAL – here be spoilers…

Look away now if you don’t want to see how the Boo-Knits mystery knit-a-long is unfolding…. Last chance…

OK, so we are now coming up to the final ‘clue’ of Morticia and I love how it’s coming along. Here is the progress made over the first two ‘clues’:

L-R: Clue 1, clue 2, clue 2 detail

From the photos you can see how I’ve struggled to capture the teal overtones in the dark yarn – it’s a hard one to photograph. I’m really pleased with my choice of beads though; for a shawl with 1000 beads it looks like it will be very wearable.

And here is where we are up to tonight, the end of clue 3:

Morticia ready for the final clue…

(This is probably the most accurate depiction of the colour)

The Tussah silk that I’m using is fabulous, finer than the other Tussahs I’ve used before but it still has a subtle halo and ‘wooliness’. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it blocks out at the end. This kind of silk looks wonderfully rustic in comparison with mulberry, and is a fantastic choice if you want something more textured but still having the style and drape that you would expect from silk.

I love how the lace is opening up and can’t wait to see how the border is designed. Ah well, not long to wait now…

In other news the shop has been taking more orders and is still in need of restocking, I got a few skeins dyed at the weekend (still waiting on delivery of more silks) but I’m claiming one for myself and my post-Morticia project… more anon!

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