Betsy Farmer Designs

Hand Crafted Jewelry - Simple and Minimal - Layering Pieces

Ankers Sweater

KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

My newest sweater is complete and I couldn't be happier with it.  Say hello to the Ankers Sweater.  Pattern is by Petite Knit and the yarn I chose is from La Bien Aimee, which I picked up at Tolt Yarn and Wool.

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This yarn is absolutely beautiful, both in color and feel.  It's 100% Merino Wool, hand dyed in Paris, and is oh so yummy!  If I ever get back to Paris, visiting La Bien Aimee will definitely be on my list.  

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I knit the yoke a couple times.  First time, I felt like it was going to be too small, so I went up size and am so glad I did. I also knit it a little shorter than what I wanted it to be because I knew it was going to grow about an inch in length.  It turned out better than I ever could have imagined.  

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The feel, the color, the drape...I never want to take it off!  But I did, for work and dishes today because this yarn is too nice to ruin with silver dust and coffee grounds.  LOL!  

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I paired it with my original hand stamped necklace, sterling silver tags with my boys names on them.  Out of all the jewelry I've made, this one is still my favorite because it was the first.  

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Hope you love this sweater as much as I do.  If you're not a knitter, maybe, just maybe this will inspire you to learn knits and purls.  You'd be amazed at how simple this sweater really was to knit.  The yoke (neck and shoulders to underarms) was basic 1x1 rib and the rest is the ever beautiful stockinette stitch.  Perfect blend of relaxation for this girl who loves to knit with her family nearby and still have a conversation with loved ones.  

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The only problem is what am I going to knit next?  ;)

xo,

Betsy

Trip Around My Garden

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Spring time is one of my favorite times of year in my little garden.  Going out there in the early mornings and after the sun goes behind the hillside is so lovely.  The birds are chirping, the toads are croaking, the bees are humming and my chickens are clucking.  Every sound, every smell brings a sense of peace that is hard to find elsewhere.  

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The bumblebees and mason bees have been loving our lavender and raspberry flowers right now. 

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The beginning of broccoli.  Crossing my fingers it doesn't bolt before the heat sets in.  

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My metal hen...constantly watching over the garden.  ;)

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And our blueberries. Oh our blueberries.   We love them! 

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Oxbow Farm

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment

Oxbow Farm field trip for my youngest son's 3rd grade class was today.  This farm girl really wanted to visit the farm and learn as much as she could about their farming practices.  It was a beautiful day to visit such a lovely farm.  Hope you enjoy these photos.  

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My son loved eating the kale blossoms.  They encouraged them to eat as much as they wanted...so he did.  That's Farmer Shey back there..."HI!".

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We learned about mason bees, saving seeds, pest control, and much much more.  Loved going to the farm and seeing the kids try all the yummy veggies.  

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Chicken Fun Run

Farmer Life, KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

My husband rocks. Seriously, he's the best.  Just sayin'.  

He puts up with my crazy ideas, my nightly knitting, and the little projects I'll throw his way from time to time.  Like this one...a chicken fun run!

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Isn't it great?!?   My idea was something extremely simple.  Something to keep them contained so they wouldn't go running off or sneak under the deck or roost on the BBQ (yes, I know the irony there.  Believe me, I find it hard to roast a chicken on the grill while my girls are 2 feet away).  

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I showed him some ideas that I liked and we tweeked a couple things.  I wanted it to be light weight, portable, and simply keep them contained and deter predators a little bit.  Yes, I know this is not predator proof, but it's not intended for that.  This is just for while I'm out there with them or have to run in the house for a little bit.  Plus, it will fit in my raised beds, which is perfect for when I'm not growing anything in them and they can aerate, poop, and dig for worms as much as they want.  

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Here are some details, in case you're dying to build one too.  We used 8' 1x2s for the long horizontal bars and then 4' boards for the others.  Kreg-jigged the corners, stapled heavy duty plastic netting (to keep the weight down instead of using metal wire) around the frames, and secured the corners with metal corner things - yes, I don't know what they're called.  LOL!  4 hinges on top allow for easy folding and storage.  Plus, he stained it for me because well, it looks better that way.  HA!  

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As for getting them in here, we simply lifted it up on one end, threw down some meal worms and in they went.  Easy peasy....except the one who wouldn't come out of the regular coop.   There's one in every crowd, right?  

And that my friends, is our chicken fun run! 

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Larch Sweater

KnittingBetsy Farmer2 Comments

Meet Larch.  This is my newest sweater from the Plain and Simple book by Pam Allen.  I am so in love with this one! 

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Before the Olympics started, I knew that I wanted to have a project on my needles that allowed my to sit and relax while soaking in all the primetime goodness in PyeongChang.  When I saw all the designs in the Plain and Simple book, I knew, just knew that Larch would be the perfect sweater.  

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It's basically a tube with sleeves and then another tube for the neck.  Pockets were brand new to me, which I made a little deeper because come on...a girl's gotta have useful pockets.  

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This sweater is knit using the suggested yarn, Quince and Co. Owl in colorway Albertine.  It's half wool and half alpaca so the drape is fantastic.  Cozy, simple, and extremely wearable....LOVE!  I did have to go up 2 needle sizes to get closer to gauge, and honestly could have gone up one more but decided to stick with the 9s and know the sweater would be a tad smaller than the size I was making.  Also, for the cowl neck, I picked up every stitch, which was a little different than pattern.  I really wanted the neck to hang down and be a true cowl, not a turtleneck.  :)

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Now that my Larch is done, I started working on the Oxbow Cardigan from Tolt Yarn and Wool's A Sense of Place.  Looking forward to sharing that one soon!!  

xoxo,

Betsy

Valley of the Moon Shawl

KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

Meet my newest shawl from the Valley of the Moon collection by Tolt Yarn and Wool.  

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The collection is designed by the talented Shannon Cook, who has designed some of my most favorite knitted items.  Not only are her designs gorgeous, they're the ones that keep me intrigued and excited.  The ones that have me saying to my family members, "Just one more row....".  

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This shawl is knit in Woolfolk Tynd, in color way no. 18.  It's this gorgeous mauve/blush/purple/pink color that is absolutely beautiful.  The color changes on me all the time and it's one of the things I love most about it.  Sometimes it looks pink, sometimes it looks purple and every time is looks perfect.  You'll see from the photos that it will look purple in one and blush in another.  I have to admit, I was a little hesitant ordering it because of this reason. I saw some sites that had it as blush and others that showed it more purple....well let me assure you...it's both!   One of my favorite colors EVER!

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Shawl knitting is so fun and relaxing, which is why I knit.  Let's be honest, I knit to relax.  I knit in the evenings to unwind and find peace from the chaos of the day.  So, when I have something like this on my needles, it brings me so much joy to pick up every night!

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As soon as you've knit about 20 rows of this shawl, you've got it.  You're on to where you can sit and glance at the pattern every once in a while, and take off with it.  I seriously think everyone should knit one of these and if you're a beginner and want a lot of 'WOW' to a project....cast this baby on!  

Like almost every single project I've knit, I've learned a new technique.  This time, it was the i-cord edge and i-cord bind.   Both...super easy, yet adds this element to the shawl that is pure perfection.  There's just something about these subtle details that I'm falling in love with.  

Now, I just need to order my yarn for the mitts and hat too!!  Muah!!  

 

New Year, New Projects

KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

Here we are.  Another year down, another fresh start.  The holidays provided so much love for us and yes, some stress.  'Tis the season around here where we crave some quietness in our every day lives, yet find it so hard to find. Nearly impossible.  December is a blur and I always feel like I need to take some time after the Holidays to unwind.  Sit and just "be".  Unplug.  Have the much needed peace that was just not there for weeks and weeks.  

It has been such a beautiful week to find that connection that seemed to be missing.  Started a 30 day yoga challenge, turned my eating back to whole foods again, and of course, cast on a couple projects.  Yes, a couple.  ;)  Nothing says relaxation like a warm cup of tea, a quiet house, and the feel of yarn running through my fingers after a nice yoga session in front of the fireplace.  

Here are some photos of my new gorgeous yarn from Purl Soho.  It's their new base, Understory, in the color way Silver Berry and I couldn't be happier or more thrilled to knit with it!  Isn't it beautiful??  Understory is 50% alpaca, 25% baby  yak, and 25% silk.  I'm looking forward to the drape this yarn should create in the fabric that will emerge by my hands this month.  

What projects are you looking forward to?  Any exciting plans? Something that sparks your creativity? 

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Channel Cardigan

KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

It's here. It's complete. It's my favorite thing I've ever made. Ever.  

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The Channel Cardigan from Brooklyn Tweed was one of those first sweaters I saw where I just knew.  Knew that I wanted to make it from the moment I saw it.  It was pinned to my knitting board on Pinterest, it was added to my screenshots on my phone, it was always in my mind.  And so was the question.  Can I make that?  Can I increase my skills enough to actually make it and feel like I did a good job? 

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So, I persisted.  I slowly added more and more skills to my knitting this year and finally, with the positive reinforcement from Jenny at Tolt Yarn and Wool, I bought enough Shelter in the color Hayloft to start my own Channel Cardigan.  

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Sure, there were definitely some hiccups along the way.  For example, I knit 3 sleeves.  Yes, 3.  First one I knit, it felt huge.  Second one I knit felt too small.  So, hey everyone, let's go back to the first size and knit a 3 sleeve.  Yes, I did a swatch and yes, it was spot on but I really, really don't like tight sleeves and felt like looser would be better for layering than tight would be.  

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After the sleeves were made, it was time for the body.   Shockingly, pretty smooth sailing for that.  I mean, it took me some hours, days, and possibly over a week, and lots and lots of counting and tally marks but we got er done.  

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When it came time to make the collar and seam it on, I have to admit I put it on backwards at first. Yup, sure did.  I had the right side (RS) facing out but didn't really think that when you fold the collar over, it would show the wrong side and that just wasn't right.  Let's just say I feel extremely confident in mattress stitch now.  

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Last, the easy part.  The belt.  Should I say, 'Easy' again?  Ha! No, seriously, it was easy but took a full skein of yarn.  I had no clue.  I was messaging my friend, Shannon, and was telling her about it and she totally knew it would take a full skein. I really should have asked the expert first.  But, 3 days later (yes, 3 days for the belt...this girl's gotta do laundry and be mom every once in a while), the belt was finished.  

The final part to my 'holy grail' of sweaters, as one Instagramer called it, was finding buttons for it.  I'm actually still on the hunt for the perfect ones but until then, plastic $.88 ones from Walmart will have to do.  I know, I know...yuck...but I really wanted to wear it!  

After finishing, I have to say that I'm itching to make another.  Was it hard? Yes.  Was it completely manageable if you took your time and knew that it would take time?  Yes.  Step by step, stitch by stich and ta-da! 

Hope you enjoy!

xo,

Betsy

 

Knitting Necklace

Betsy FarmerComment

New to my shop is this adorable knitting charm style necklace.  These are just the cutest little sterling silver charms hand stamped with a button, needle and thread, pair of scissors, and my popular yarn ball.  

Hope you love it as much as I do!

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Something Gradient Comes This Way

KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

While going through photos this week, I realized I never shared my Something Gradient Comes This Way wrap with you.  

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This fantastic wrap is knit with Magpie Fibers Swanky Sock yarn in colors 501's, Empty Night and Baby Got Black.  It takes 3 skeins, one of each color, and is such a relaxing knit. I started this one on a road trip with friends this summer and was one of those projects where you could visit and knit at the same time.  Best combo ever!  

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Fall is on the way

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment
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Fall is definitely in the air.  There's a cold bite to the morning and evening air that has been missing the past few months and it's something to be truly grateful for.  Everyone is posting pumpkin this and pumpkin that and all I can post is a pumpkin colored hat and a little garden space.

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This garden has been one of my most productive years, literally made me giddy every time I went to harvest.  It produced over 23 pounds of potatoes, 25 pounds of green beans, 20 pounds of zucchini (and uhm...more that literally just went to the chickens because how can one family possible eat that much zucchini?!?!), couple pounds of onions, just a handful of raspberries, 12 pounds of blueberries, and a nice assortment of kale, cabbage, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  

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Now it's time to clean up.  Time to put the girls to work alongside me while we put the beds to rest for the winter.  Weekly goals include finishing tilling up the garden, laying down some mulch, letting the girls tackle the weeds and aerate the space for me. I think I see a cup of coffee and some knitting taking place while I watch them work.

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Happy Fall Y'all!

Xo,

Betsy

 

Heathrow Sweater

KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

Say hello to my newest sweater, the Heathrow Sweater by Olive Knits (aka, Marie Greene). 

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When Marie asked me if I'd be interested in test knitting, my first thought was 'Wow! She wants me to test knit?' and my second thought was, 'Oh no!  She wants me to test knit!'.  So, I kindly thanked her and informed her that I was a newbie knitter still and asked if she thought it was something I could do.  Marie said definitely, sent me the information, and the rest is history.

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Heathrow is the perfect fit to my growing handmade wardrobe, which is growing at a pace I never expected would happen just a short year ago. The yarn totally spoke to me when I saw that it was from Ireland since my husband and I were just there a year ago.  Driving by thousands and thousands of sheep, I wish I would have been a knitter back then.  The appreciation I have for these amazing animals is so much greater now...hmmm...do I see another Irish vacation added to the list again?  I think so.  Anyways, back to Heathrow and yarn.

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The Fibre Co. sent my yarn out the next day and a little happy dance may have happened when it arrived in my mailbox.  I chose the colorway Glenveagh Castle in their newest base, Arranmore Light.  The blend is 80% merino wool, 10% cashmere, and 10% silk...pure perfection.  

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Heathrow was truly a joy to knit...after I started the 2nd time.  Yes, the 2nd time.  I knit to the first sleeve opening and realized that I had cast on 20 more stitches than I should have.  Thankfully, I'm a very patient person (har har) and I started over with the correct stitch count.  From that point until the end of the body, it was smooth sailing.  There was a slight learning experience with picking up the side stitches for ribbing but after some private messages back and forth, it all came together in this perfect, fall accessory I'll treasure for such a long time.

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Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

Xo,

Betsy  

Rose Gold Double Sided Necklaces are Available!

ProductsBetsy FarmerComment

Rose Gold Fill DOUBLE sided necklaces are finally available in my shop! Whahoo! Seriously, I've been waiting for these for years.  After offering double sided bar necklaces in both sterling and 14k gold fill, rose is now an option also!  The double sided necklaces need to be thicker metal, to allow for hand stamping on both sides.  Since hand stamped work is deeper than machine engraved, this extra thickness is needed so the personalization doesn't show through on the back.  

Hope you love these thicker, double sided rose gold fill bars as much as I do!

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New Sweater

KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I've fallen into the knitting world and really haven't looked back since.  Thought I'd post some of my favorite projects here.

This sweater is my newest project and I LOVE it!  Made with Magpie Fibers yarn, in her Swanky DK weight.  Color is Castaway and is really the loveliest of beiges/taupes.  Patter is the Ellison Sweater, which I found HERE on Ravelry.  

NEW Cube Necklace

Betsy FarmerComment

How adorable is this new cube necklace?? It's the cutest little charm and I'm thrilled to offer it in my shop! 

These cubes are about 3/8" in size and can have an initial hand stamped on each side. They're .925 sterling silver and come on a sturdy rollo chain. Perfect to wear every day!

 

These cubes are about 3/8" in size and can have an initial hand stamped on each side. They're .925 sterling silver and come on a sturdy rollo chain. Perfect to wear every day!

 

Garden Life of a Farmer Girl

Betsy FarmerComment

This years garden is behind from last year but as I strolled through it yesterday, I was thankful for all the plants that come back every year.  Thought I'd share some of my favorite things to look at in the Farmer garden.  

This cute little bunny (well, let's be honest, this one is probably one of hundreds in my yard at any given time) has been hanging around eating grass and green beans.  

My blueberries are almost ready for a good picking, shallots planted last fall will be thrown on a meal soon, and the 10 peas I managed to grow will just end up being snacked on while watering.  

FIND YOUR TRUE NORTH

Betsy FarmerComment

I've been seeing this saying around a lot lately.  So much that it had me looking into it a bit more.  And now I'm obsessed with it.  It rings true for me.  And probably most of you too. 

Rather than worry about what others think, just do what you want.  Be who you want to be.  Follow your true path to who you are and forget every one else's path.  Or forget what others think should be your path. 

Finding your inner compass and following where YOU'RE supposed to be headed is a hard thing to do sometimes.  I struggle with it...a lot.  But slowly, as I've grown in my personal life and business, I've started doing what I want more and more.  Not what others want.  And you know what? I'm OKAY with that.  It feels good.  Let go of the direction you're not meant to go in.  Follow YOUR true north.  

And now you can have a this necklace too!  Order one HERE.  

Love ya,

Betsy

Proud Moments

Farmer LifeBetsy Farmer1 Comment

You know those moments as a parent when you are so proud of your children?  Their first steps, when they learn to ride a bike, when they catch a ball during baseball with a look of shock on everyones face because they actually caught it?  We had a very similar proud moments tonight.  

I was sitting on the porch steps playing with my phone (I mean working on my phone.  No way was I on Pinterest), the boys were riding their bikes in the cul da sac, and out of the blue, I hear my youngest sing, 'I like big butts and I can not lie'.  My head snapped up and I payed attention.  I was thinking to myself, 'Did he really just sing what I think he sang?'  Sure enough...he did it again and again...only not quite right. 

As any good mom would do, she'd ask him where he heard it first and then correct his lyrics.  Because by all means, if you're going to sing that song while riding your bike, please sing it correctly!  Your mama is a child of the 90's and all.  Well, and the 80's.  And before anyone freaks out, he heard it from the preview for The Chipmunks new movie and only sings the first 3 lines.  But oh my goodness...it is honestly the funniest thing I've heard in a long time.    

So baby, you keep singing those three lines and making your mama laugh over and over again.