Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Sweater Kit

I have been really busy these last three months with sewing and knitting projects to the point that I have not even posted anything.  For most of the time I was working to finish and write up the instructions for a sweater that I designed for a friend's wool.  Rachel Willis, otherwise known as Mountain Girl Cakes, makes her money by making cakes for weddings and other events.  In her free time, when she is not baking cakes and looking after her son, she is looking after over 100 Navajo Churro sheep.  She called me yesterday to get my daughter's cake order for her birthday and said she was in the middle of shearing.

Rachel shears the sheep with help from her husband, or maybe vice versa, then ships the wool off to be processed and spun in New Mexico.  Once she has the yarn back, she dyes it using natural dyes such as walnut, comfrey, marigold, goldenrod, cochineal, indigo, and madder.  The colors she produces are wondrous.

This photo comes from the blog, see their article about Rachel.

I had Rachel pick her favorite range of colors and using those I designed a sweater.  She chose the walnut yarns and we used dark burgundy dyed using cochineal as an accent.  I started the sweater at the beginning of August while in Cape Cod, and then continued the designing and knitting until we got the kits together for the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpellier in October.  That show was held in the hottest day of fall, and not a single person tried on the sweater although we did sell a few kits.

Here is the beginning of the sweater that I posted earlier.

Here are some shots of the final sweater.

It doesn't look like much hanging there, but it looks great on.  It is fitted through the bust and waist and flares out at the hip.  It falls just below the hip and has slit opening at the sleeve bottom.  The buttons are sewn on, but the sweater uses covered snaps and the button band is lined with cotton fabric to keep the band from stretching.  The collar is lined inside with a velvet ribbon for comfort.

We have several more kits made up and are now looking for a local outlet from with to sell them.

Right now, I am finishing up the body of my sweater, and hope to start knitting the sleeves tomorrow.  Mine goes from a dark brownish black at the bottom, to an olive green, a medium green, and a light green at the top with indigo blue accents.  Hope to have it finished and posted soon.

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