Betsy Farmer Designs

Hand Crafted Jewelry - Simple and Minimal - Layering Pieces

Knitting

Ankers Sweater

KnittingBetsy Farmer2 Comments

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

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

 

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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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  

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.