A new use for sheep, and I'm knitting socks!

by Sarah Lake Upton in ,


I am usually the last person to hear about things, so I suspect that the entire sheep-interested world has already heard about this, but I just found about it and I am ridiculously excited.

According to this article in the Washington Post (to name one, a quick Google search shows that many other news organizations also ran the story) the topography and lack of roads in the Faroe Islands make it impossible to photograph the islands for Google Street View using the normal cameras mounted on cars.  The folks at Google were just willing to let it go, but the Faroe Island tourism board very much wanted to add their islands to Google Street View, and so they strapped solar powered cameras to sheep. Which is honestly just the coolest solution.   (Although it actually turns out that sheep are generally too focussed on grazing and therefore move across a space too slowly to be much good at photographing an area - so most of the footage of the Faroes that is currently on Google Street View was actually taken by human hikers).

The Sheep View footage is available on the tourism board website, and a lot of it made it onto youtube.

On a more knitting related note, I have been longing to knit Kanoko Socks by Mary Jane Mucklestone, published in Making Magazine No. 3,  ever since I saw her wear them during the Wool Scout Retreat at Bradford Camp this August.   As usual, I got a little sidetracked and my knitting queue got in the way, but when MJ’s Instragram post came across my feed announcing that the pattern was being released for individual sale on Ravelry they immediately jumped to the head of the line.  I started knitting them a few days ago (using my Straw’s Farm Island Sheep fingering weight) and am thoroughly enjoying them.  The four rows of dots are charming in cream, but they would also be charming in different colors.  Yup, I’m plotting kits….

kanoko no 1 in progress.jpg

Fibertrek wool scout retreat

by Sarah Lake Upton in ,


IMG_2500.JPG

In addition to hosting a podcast (FiberTrek, available on iTunes) and facilitating the introduction of designers, crafters, and yarn producers to each other and to knitters at large, my good friend Sarah Hunt puts on lovely, cozy, educational, yarn/knitting retreats in Maine.  In her podcasts and personal knitting she is interested in the relationship of wool, yarn, and knitting to landscape and a sense of place. For the last couple of years she has been bringing these ideas into focus during her Tidal Tours knitting retreats in collaboration with Jodi Clayton of One Lupin Fiber Arts, but even more exciting, this year she is also drawing on her background as a Maine Guide to bring interested knitters into the wilds of Maine.

 

From August 13-17 Sarah will be hosting the Wool Scout Knitting Retreat at Bradford Camps on Munsungan Lake, in Township 8-Range 10.  The camps may be reached by logging road, but a float plane is the recommended mode of transport.   Mary Jane Mucklestone will be holding classes in Fair Isle knitting (!!!!!!!)  Sarah will be teaching classes in starting fires with flint and steel, and also in working with rare and primitive breed wools,  Jani Estell of Star Croft Fibers will be leading a class in making Viking Chatelaines (an organizer for small tools)  and Igor Sikorsky will be teaching fly fishing and map and compass skills.  And, boat schedule willing, I will be there as well with my indigo pots, introducing interested folks to the magic of dyeing with natural indigo.  I am giddy to be included in such company, and also just really looking forward to getting to be part of the retreat.

 

For more information, and to register, go to fiber-trek.squarespace.com


Ganseys and Gansey Yarn

by Sarah Lake Upton in , ,


I have fallen right back under the metaphorical rock thanks to spending last week in a class necessary to maintain my Coast Guard License (long boring story, also a long boring class, but my fellow participants worked on drill rigs and tug boats and that bit was fascinating) but now I get to spend the morning sipping my first cup of coffee and catching up with my favorite blogs. 

I was thrilled to discover that The Fringe Association published a really lovely interview with Dotty Widman of the Netloft in Cordova, Alaska about the Cordova Gansey Project.   Dotty's series of posts on her own blog have become some of my favorite writing about knitting generally and ganseys specifically.

(You can find the yarn I created for the #cordovaganseyproject listed here at the Netloft's website).

Now that I am finally done with the Coast Guard class I will have time to work with the 2016 Coopworth gansey yarn that arrived while I was away (I could not be happier with how it turned out!).  For those of you on the wait list for 2016 Coopworth gansey yarn, I am trying to put together a newsletter to inform you that it is finally here, and that I am beginning to work with it.  I would rather spend time working with yarn than trying to create a pretty newsletter about yarn, so I may just give up on the newsletter and send a quick email.  If you are on the wait list and you read this, feel free to send me a quick email about your order.  

 The two natural colors of my 2016 Coopworth Gansey yarn - lovely undyed, and gorgeous after a few dips in the indigo vat.

The two natural colors of my 2016 Coopworth Gansey yarn - lovely undyed, and gorgeous after a few dips in the indigo vat.