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Sheepish Autumn/Winter 2013

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Knitting, spinning, food and good stuff. Free online magazine with a fibre arts focus.

Text of Sheepish Autumn/Winter 2013

  • Issue 4



    n / W

    inter 2


    Knitting, spinning, food and good stuff

  • 2 Fibre tasting- The battle of alpaca

    3 Good stuff... Whats on the go?

    4 Pattern- Falling leaves

    6 Craftsy classes

    8 Pattern- Bonfire night

    11 Book review The Fleece and Fibre Sourcebook

    12 Technique time Fit those feet

    13 Get out there Go walking

    14 Pattern Wild and Windy

    17 Decoration Inspiration

    18 Pattern Stripy stocking

    21 Yarndale 2013

    23 Last minute gift knitting

    24 Pattern picks

    25 Baby its cowl-d outside

    26 Cosy nosey

    28 Whats cooking- Chocolate truffles

    29 Try something new Thrummed mittens

    30 Gifts for crafters

    31 Pattern abbreviations

    This time of year is really all about the warm and cosy knitwear. Cold frosty days mean you can dig out warm accessories and snug sweaters to stay warm. It is also the season for gift knitting, we have a few tips to help if you have left it to the last minute!

    If you have any questions about anything in this issue or would like to make suggestions or contributions to future issues, please contact us via [email protected]



  • 2

    Pure alpaca typically comes in two varieties, Suri and Hucaya. Take a look at the differences and similarities.

    Fibre tasting... The battle of alpaca


    Much of the alpaca you find in top and yarn form will be of the hucaya variety, as these animals make up 90-93% of the animals in existence


    Compared to Suri, Hucaya has a shorter staple length, at 5-15cm

    1. A

    high amount of crimp can be seen in the individual fibres, making them easier to spin.


    Suri is the rarer variety of alpaca. The animals are distinctive in appearance, with long locks which can be up to 28cm

    1. Suri fibres have

    no crimp, with a smooth texture.

    The very long fibres can be difficult to spin, and the lack of crimp means a fairly high twist is required. Avoid ing overspinning whi le achieving enough twist to hold the yarn together is key here.

    Typical properties of alpaca include good drape, high warmth and very soft handle. Alpaca has less bounce and fibre memory than most wool, this gives the good drape but makes it less suitable for projects where stretchiness is required. Consider alpaca for shawls and warm hats. Both varieties of alpaca have a tendency to felt, making projects such as super cosy felted mittens and slippers a good choice.

    Of course, there are alpaca blends to consider too, where you can get the warmth and softness of alpaca, mixed with the shine of silk, or the bounce of wool. Both varieties of alpaca bring their own qualities to these blends, adding extra luxury to your spinning.


    1 Robson, D. & Ekarius, C, 2011. The Fleece and Fibre Source book. Storey Publishing: USA

  • Good stuff...

    Knitting: Aestlight by Gudrun Johnson knit in Malabrigo sock. A fairly unusual shawl construction with a centre garter triangle, stitches picked up to work the lace border, then a lace edging worked sideways. The first two sections make great TV knitting, the final lace edging requires more concentration. The yarn is beautifully soft and works well with the garter stitch to make a lovely squashy shawl.

    ...whats on the go

    Reading: The Hunger Games trilogy; a bit behind with these as they have been out for a long time. Action and an interesting view of a possible future world. An excellent read, give them a go or re-read. The second movie was released in November, see how it differs from the book.

    Spinning: A Shetland and silk blend in the Ink colourway from A little Bit Sheepish. The silk gives a lovely sheen to the finished yarn while the wool adds softness and bounce. Drop spindled to give a fine single for plying to a 4 ply weight.

    Wheel spinning undyed Jacob top in three natural colours white, dark brown and light brown to make a double knit striped three ply yarn.

    Watching: Yonderland on Sky 1, Sunday at 6:30pm. Best described as a cross between Discworld and the Muppets. Family friendly viewing with an adventure style storyline.

    Prefer historical drama? (or love both?) The latest series of Downton Abbey has recently finished on ITV in the UK. Meaning it will be soon on its way to America and available for catch up viewing. You can also catch up on the first three series (plus specials) on Netflix in the UK.

    Cooking: All the warm and cosy things! This time of year is perfect for casseroles, apple crumbles and all kinds of tasty stodgy goodness.


  • 4

    Cosy boot toppers to keep you

    warm on chilly autumn walks. The

    leaf motif is worked lengthways,

    once the ends are joined stitches

    are picked up then ribbing worked in

    the round.

    Yarn: 50g worsted weight yarn, shown in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Currant..

    Needles: 4.0mm double pointed needles or circular for working in the round.

    Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch markers.

    Gauge: Exact gauge is not

    important for this project.

    Abbreviations used in this pattern can be found on page 31.

    A pdf version of this pattern can be found here.

    Cast on:

    Cast on 8 sts.

    Leaf edging:

    Work falling leaves chart (see page

    5) a total of 5(6, 7) times.

    Cast off.

    Sew cast on edge to the cast off



    Pick up 48(56, 64) stitches around

    Falling leaves

  • top edge of leaf edging.

    Rnd 1: *k2, p2; repeat from *


    Repeat round 1 until ribbed section

    measures 10cm or is your desired


    Bind off using Jenys surprisingly

    stretchy bind off.


    Block boot toppers.

    Weave in ends.

    e h h h h 18

    a h h h h h h h 17

    l h h h h h h h h h 16

    d s h h h h h h 15

    l h h h h h h h h 14

    d s h h h h h 13

    l h h h h h h h 12

    d s h h h h h 11

    l h h h h h h h 10

    d s h h h h 9

    l h h h h h h 8

    j j h h h 7

    l h h h h h 6

    j j h h 5

    l h h h h 4

    j j h 3

    l h h h 2

    j j 1

    Knit on RS, purl on WS d Knit two together

    h Purl on RS, knit on WS a Slip one, knit two together, psso

    j Yarn over e Purl two together

    l Knit into front and back of stitch Bind off

    s Slip, slip, knit No stitch

    Make it your way:

    Using a finer yarn and appropriate needles will make a smaller sized boot topper.

    Work the ribbing in a different colour to make two coloured toppers, a great way to use up leftovers.

    To make the most of leftovers, divide

    the yarn into two balls, work the

    ribbing until you have just enough

    leftfor the cast off.

    Falling leaves chart:


  • Craftsy classes Fancy learning new skill? We take a look at the classes offered by Craftsy.


    Learning new skills is one of the

    great things about crafting. There

    are many ways to do it ask a

    friend, books, online help, take a

    class. However, it is not always easy

    to find the information you need, and

    many craft related skills are easier

    to understand when they are

    demonstrated rather than written


    Craftsy is an online website started

    in 2012 offering a huge range of

    craft classes in video format. The

    advantages of being taught by a real

    person, with the convenience of

    being able to watch the videos when

    it suits you, even in the middle of the

    night. Classes also have help

    forums where you can ask questions

    and receive support from the

    teacher and other participants.

    There is something for most

    interests and the range of topics

    seems to keep increasing; currently

    covering cake decorating, knitting,

    sewing, crochet, spinning, painting,

    drawing and photography.

    In terms of price the classes vary.

    There are some free short classes

    you can try, which is brilliant to see if

    you like the format. Compared to

    paying for a class in a local venue

    the prices are very reasonable, and

    the best bit is once you have

    purchased the class you can access

    it forever, as many times as you like.

    To explore the format I signed up

    for the Adventures in double

    knitting class by Alasdair Post-


    I had only one previous brief

    attempt at any kind of double

  • 7

    knitting, it was less than successful

    so this seemed like an excellent

    choice of class.

    The pause button is possibly the

    best part of these classes. In a real

    life class you cant keep interrupting

    the class to ask questions or to have

    another look. In digital format you

    can hit pause to catch up and use

    the thirty second replay if you need

    another look at a t