Betsy Farmer Designs

Hand Stamped Jewelry - Simple and Minimal - Enjoy Every Day


Ankers Sweater

KnittingBetsy Farmer3 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.


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.  


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.  


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!  


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.  


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.  


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



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!


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).  


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.  


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!  


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! 


Channel Cardigan

KnittingBetsy FarmerComment

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


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? 


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.  


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.  


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.  


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.  


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!




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.  


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!