Sunday, February 7, 2016

cozy and cuffed

I love handwarmers. They might be one of my favorite things to knit, simply because they're easy, a great use of a single skein of yarn, and they're very wearable. Karen Everitt's Cozy Cuffed Mitts pattern is a great go-to, especially for handspun. Whip up a pair in a few days as a gift or for yourself when the weather gets cold. It's easy to adjust for lighter or heavier yarns, too - I'm planning a pair for my boyfriend that use a slightly larger needle size and thicker yarn.

I finished this pair back in September using some yarn I'd spun from a Hello Yarn shop colorway, Impish. On Falkland wool, I decided to do a little more research about this fiber and found out some fun facts for you from my copy of the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook:
"The term Falkland refers to wool grown on the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina, but there isn't a Falkland breed of sheep. The Falkland Islands are home to a significant number of Polworths (an Australian breed developed from a mix of 75% Merino and 25% Lincoln) and a fair number of purebred Merinos. There's also a strong history of Corriedales in the islands, as well as some Romney in the background.
There are no known sheep diseases on the islands, so the living animals don't go through the chemical dipping that occurs in other areas of the world to control pests. Also, due to the cost of importing chemical fertilizers and herbicides, Falkland farmers never turned to the use of these additives; thus their wool meets organic standards."
This text can be found on page 16 of the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook.
Falkland wool has long been one of my favorites for projects, so it's interesting to find out that it's not really a specific breed at all, which makes a lot of sense. Sometimes I get Falkland that feels soft and dense like Polworth, while other times I get a slightly lighter batch that feels more like Merino. I would say that this particular batch is on the Polworth side, and it sure knits up beautifully into handwarmers!

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