My house has wool tucked in every corner .  I fell in love with wool, sheep and spinning in the early 80’s and collected all kinds of wool like there would be no more.  Now in my early 70’s I am trying to find uses for it all.  I hope to finish some of the projects that have been sitting around this month..


This is one of the projects which needs to be finished   I have been working on it for years.   Each area inteminated me and certainly brought me out of my comfort zone in hooking.  Thank you Deanne Fitzpatrick for pushing me forward on this project.   WIthout your example I would have never attempted it.

I am still spinning and took up rug hooking and made many huge rugs but my supply is still there.  This year I am going back to weaving in hopes to make woolen rugs and I hope that will deplete my boxes and boxes of lovely dyed handspun.

I have found there just isn’t a kind of wool that I don’t like, even the coarsest of wool’s have uses in rug making and felting.  On a recent trip to Ireland I could not resist these wild colors at Kerry Woolen Mills.


I have started some fleece lined mittens with this wool.


 I still have 4 sheep and love the quiet life of being a shepherdess.   This year I plan to send the wool out to a mill and have it made into yarn.  It is a wonderful way for me to share my love of sheep to others.



Word has come to me that Hannah Hauxwell Of England has passed away and I wanted to share this with you.  She was 92.  She lived on a remote farm for most of her life and at age 35 after her parents passed, she took over the day-to-day chores on the farm.  In this very remote area there was no electricity or running water.  She battled poverty and hardship most of her life and did this all alone. She was discovered and  her life brought to the public eye through wonderful documentaries and her books and her life did get somewhat easier.   She carried a bale of hay on her back to feed her beloved cows.  When she felt she could no longer continue on the farm she, with help moved to a small town nearby.  Leaving her beloved cows was one of the saddest things but a neighbor agreed to take care of them.  The documentary’s can be seen on you tube and her books are available from Amazon.  She was such an inspiring woman.

Many thanks for reading Fiberuary,  please share your stories with our readers.  Contact me at


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FIBERuary Jane Dunning


FIBERuary Day 25          Knitting with Jane Dunning



I am so glad that I signed up for the class at Sheep and Shawl for “brioche” knitting.  I had tried to learn it from both a book and from an internet video, and it seemed to be very complicated.  This class proved that it is not above my ability,  and is actually a very pleasant way of knitting, once you get into the rhythm.  I was, however, glad that she had us put in a lifeline after a few row.  I lost concentration at one point, and I was glad that I was able to use it.  I had chosen a green heather yarn that I came to love, the more I worked with it.  The class was time well spent, a it of time away, and a new skill to lay with.

There are two type of brioche…  the one color brioche, which I learned this week, i relatively simple, specially if you have the advantages of a good teacher and a small class.  The Basics are here:

Cast on an even number of stitches

We cast on 24, using a loose cast on.

Row 1: *Yarn over, (yarn in front), slip 1, knit 1, Repeat from * across.

Row 2: *Yarn over (yarn in front), slip 1, knit 2 together.  Repeat from * across. 

Repeat only row 2 for pattern.  Note that with the preparation row you’ll be working on more stitches then you cast on, so plan for that when  determining gauge.

When ending a project or area of brioche, work the row by eliminating the yarn overs and simply purling  1 and knitting 2 together across, loosely.

You will notice that I have put a marker on the right ide of my piece o that if I choose to add another color at some point, I can add it on that side.

This make a soft and “squishy” fabric  that i warm and cozy.  The two color brioche is  a bit more complicated, but produces a fabric that is very dramatic in appearance.  Sheep and Shaw in South Deerfeld will be offering a course in April so that we can work on the two color version.

Brioche stitch was named for a type of a light, sweet yeast bread typically in the form of a fluffy buttery bun.  The Stitch was used in  18th  Century England to create a soft cushion.


This is a dramatic example of a two-color brioche stitch.


To see more examples of two-color brioche, use this link:                                                                 

Posted by Jane Dunning, February 25, 2016
















FIBERuary Day 4- Liz of Sheep and Shawl


10 Reasons Why I Love to Knit with Wool – Liz Sorenson, Sheep & Shawl


1.     Wool is warm and toasty to wear Fall through Spring. In fact, it can keep you cool in Summer as well (surprising, I know, but read about the thermal properties of wool).


2.     Wool connects me to sheep, an animal that has provided fiber for clothing for thousands of years worldwide.


3.     Wool is nearly waterproof, is still warm when wet, and can be made waterproof by felting.  It reminds me that some ancient and modern people have used large mats of wool felt to create nomadic housing (yurts).


4.     Wool is a renewable resource – fleeces must be shorn from sheep every year to keep them healthy, and we benefit from the yarn spun from the fleece.



5.     Wool yarn comes in a variety of sizes, from lace weight to bulky, so there is never a shortage of accessories I can knit.


6.     Knitting with wool is good for the hands.  Some wool yarns are minimally processed and still contain lanolin (the sheep’s natural “oil” in the fleece), providing a nice waxy smell, and smoothing the hands that are gently exercised by knitting.


7.     Knitting with wool connects me to my ancestors who also knit with wool.  Browsing through vintage knitting magazines and reading articles about historic and traditional knitting patterns offers me more connection.


8.     Buying wool yarn from local farmers in my area helps to protect the local economy, buying as close to the source as I can (as I am not a shepherdess).  Sometimes I even know the name of the sheep whose wool I use.


9.     Buying wool yarn that is locally and regionally produced in other parts of the country and the world helps to protect those local economies and to create and maintain community supported agricultural efforts.


10.  I like to share my knitted wool accessories by wearing them, displaying them at my yarn shop, teaching knitting classes, designing knitting patterns to sell, and spreading the word about my love for wool.  I like the community that wool helps to create.    Yarn * Crafts * Community at


Welcome to all

Day one of FIBERuary


Three or Four year ago I discovered WOVEMBER.  I learned so much from the wonderful folks that wrote daily blogs.  From knitter to spinners and weavers to dyers and writer’s of knitting books.  Everything I needed to know about British Wool was in the blog.  I still look forward to WOVEMBER each November 1st.  
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